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Modern Estonia

Gallery: Churches of Harju County

by Peter Kessler, 11 July 2010

Part 11: Churches of Kuusalu, Leesi & Loksa

Prayer House of the Moravian Brothers

The Prayer House of the Moravian Brothers (Kuusalu palvemaja in Estonian) is on the north-west corner of Soodla tee and Männi tee in Kuusalu, approximately three hundred metres to the east of St Laurence's Church. The Kuusalu Evangelical Brethren dates to 1818, but their rather attractive yellow wooden-slatted building was only constructed in 1935, probably after more than a century of meeting in private houses, as other minor congregations still do in 2010.

Prayer House of the Moravian Brothers

During the Soviet period the congregation was kicked out and the building used as a gym and a furniture store. In 1994, with the departure of the Soviets, the prayer house was reconsecrated. The Moravian Church, an Evangelical Protestant nonconformist body, dates back to 1457 in Kunvald in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). Today it officially goes under the name of Unitas Fratrum, or Unity of the Brethren, but is also known as the Bohemian Brethren.

Church of St Catherine

The Church of St Catherine (Pühale Katariinale pühendatud jumalakoda), Leesi, lies on the eastern side of the road, north of the centre of this scattered hamlet. It is difficult to see, as a large and heavily-wooded cemetery separates it from the road. A chapel apparently existed here before 1678, by which time it was already considered to be old. In 1853 it may have been refurbished or rebuilt, but this seems to have been later replaced, or built into the new, present church.

Church of St Catherine

The present church was constructed in the south-eastern corner of the village cemetery in 1865-1867, although it is hard to be sure if the build was completely new. Consecration took place on 17 September 1867. The original ministers for the chapel also preached to the coastal areas of Kuusalu, and possibly still do, although Leesi and Kuusalu have been separate parishes for many decades. Gustav Terkmann built the organ which is situated in the west gallery.

Church of the Holy Virgin Mary

The Church of the Holy Virgin Mary (Püha Neitsi Maarja), Loksa, is on the south-west corner of Tallinna mnt 54 and Rahu tänav. The first religious building in Loksa was a chapel with its own burial place which was located on the right bank of the nearby river. The chapel existed by 1629, with the same dedication as today. Probably the chapel was in a bad way when Count Karl Magnus allowed Stenbock to build a new chapel, which was consecrated 27 August 1766.

Church of the Holy Virgin Mary

The ground around the original chapel was hard and dry, making burials tough work. Perhaps for this reason alone, it was decided to build a new church in a different location in Loksa. The present church was built in 1847-1853, sited at the eastern end of a large and (now) heavily-wooded cemetery. The tower was the last section to be completed, in 1850, but it took another three years to complete the interior work. The church was consecrated on 27 September 1853.



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