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Gallery: Churches of Harju County
by Peter Kessler, 24 August 2009. Updated 11 July
Sutlepa Chapel (kabel in Estonian) is
located within the Eesti Vabaõhumuuseum (Open Air Museum) at Rocca
al Mare, on Tallinn's western edge. The chapel opened in 1627. It was
enlarged in 1837 with wooden parts from the former Rooslepa Chapel
of 1699, and now bears that date above its own doorway. Representative of
sacral architecture, being the only seventeenth century wooden chapel of
its kind apart from that on Ruhnu Island makes it a rarity.
The Charismatic Episcopal Church of St Stephen
the Martyr (Püha Esimärter Stefanose kirik) occupies
land on the edge of the trees at Kiriku tee 2, Harkujärve. The
church was built in 1994, to a design by architect Jaak Kuriks, to
serve the nearby village of the same name, just a few kilometres
outside the western edges of Tallinn, and divided from it by Harku
järv (or lake). The church claims to unite the charismatic and the
liturgical-sacramental forms of church life.
Rannamõisa Church (kirik) is Lutheran, and
carries no dedication. It sits on the northern side of Klooga mnt,
opposite Sõrve tee in Rannamõisa, which is immediately to the west
of Harkujärve. A large stretch of forest separates the church from
the Baltic Sea to the north. The church was built in 1901 as a
chapel of ease to St Michael's Church, Keila, which retained its
status as Ranna Chapel. The church was consecrated on 17 July 1905,
and gained its own parish in 1937.
The Church of St Mary (Püha Maarja kirik)
is on Naissaare Island, to the north of the coastline at Rannamõisa.
The first Lutheran church here was built in 1856, but this was destroyed
before the First World War. In 1934 the present wooden building was
erected. Dilapidated by the start of the twenty-first century, repair
work was well underway by 2009. The church is served by the Swedish St
Michael's Lutheran Church in Tallinn, under a Swedish parochial pastor.
Viimsi Baptist Church (Viimsi Vabakogudus
(Free Church) in Estonian), is an attractive red-roofed double-building
which is laid out in the shape of a horseshoe. It is located at Rohuneeme
tee 40, Haabneeme, a hamlet immediately north of Viimsi itself, a parish
in Harju County (an Estonian parish is roughly the equivalent of an
English district council). Almost a seaside town, it is located close to
Tallinn Bay, on a peninsula to the north-east of Tallinn.
The church was first built in 1935 when a wooden
chapel was erected on the site, designed by the Estonian architect
Märt Merivälja (who was also responsible for Massiaru schoolhouse
and Sauga Elementary School). The tower was added at the end of the
twentieth century, at the same time as general reconstruction work
began on the church. Today it has become an attractive building, with
a lot of its attraction being added by the graceful new tower housing
a single bell.
One photo on this page kindly contributed by Karin Laur,
and additional text by Alesja Pozlevitš.