Last year our first donation drive was a complete success,
thanks to some wonderful people who helped us gain a security certificate and meet
some of the increasing web hosting costs. This year, that certificate needs to be
renewed and another round of hosting costs need to be supplimented. As the History
Files is a non-profit site it still needs your help. Please click anywhere inside
this box to make a small donation via PayPal so that we can continue to provide
highly detailed historical research on a fully secure site. If every visitor
donated just a penny then we'd cover a year's running costs in a day! Your support
is highly appreciated.
The Swedish St Michael's Lutheran Church
is at Rüütli 9, just a few steps down the street from St Nicholas
Church. Swedes settled near the port area of Tallinn in the 1400s,
but Estonian Swedes could be found on the islands and along the
western coastal strip as early as 1271, according to written sources.
A Swedish parish certainly existed by 1531, when the death of the
priest was recorded. However, the parish probably existed for at
least a century beforehand.
The Reformation came to Estonia despite the
efforts of the Order of the Brothers of the Sword, although Swedes
apparently welcomed it. The situation stabilised when the Swedish
kingdom took control of the region in 1645. The Swedish population
in Tallinn suddenly rocketed. In 1631, Gustav Adolf II had already
decided that the Swedes should be granted the use of the old St
Michael's monastery for schools, with its church being granted to
the Swedish parish.
In 1716, Russian ownership of Estonia meant the
Swedes had to leave their church, which became the Russian
Orthodox Garrison Church. The homeless Swedish parish had to
celebrate mass in various German churches until they gained the
Hospital of St John on Rüütli street from 1733. After independence,
the 1944 Soviet re-occupation saw the church converted into a sports
club, but in 1992 it was handed back to the Swedish community.
Tallinn Christian Pentecostal Church is
at Toompea 3, on the leafy hill which leads up from Charles XI Church
to Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The Pentecostal movement in Estonia
has no more than a century of history behind it, being established
in 1906 when the first prayer houses were founded. The building which
houses this church was constructed in 1908 for the former Toomkool's
Harjuoru gym, which existed on the hill of Toompea.
Toomkool (or the Estonian Knighthood Dome School,
to give it its full title) was an establishment which was designed
for the elite of pre-Independence Tallinn, as it was a cathedral
school for the Estonian German nobility. When the school's former
gym was gained by the Christian Pentecostal movement in Estonia, the
stylish and attractive Art Nouveau building was thoroughly renovated.
The building was originally designed by Arthur Hoyningen-Huene.
The Soviet invasion saw the Pentecostal movement
prohibited by the authorities and thrown out of its churches. For
the fifty years of occupation, there was no official Pentecostal
organisation in the country, and many of the church's pastors were
deported to Siberia. Luckily, enough escaped to the west to set up
Estonian Pentecostal churches in Europe and North America until such
time as the church could return home, which it did in 1991.