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Gallery: Churches of Rapla County
by Peter Kessler & Lauri Oherd, 30
January 2011. Updated 8 March 2019
St Lambert's Church (Lambertuse kogudus
in Estonian) is in Hageri village, clearly visible from the only
main road. Hageri was one of the largest and oldest parishes in the
former Harju, Rapla and Juuru regions. The first St Lambert's Church
probably already existed by 1221, built by missionaries to Danish North
Estonia, although nothing is known about the saint himself. The first
records of the church date to 1424, but the building was destroyed by
fire on 3 May 1710.
Restoration by Captain von Baer of Sutlema Manor was
completed by the end of 1713, with services being held in the manor until
then. Repairs were carried out in 1803 and 1822, and reconstruction in
1851, with the vaults and roof being replaced. However, the church was
quickly becoming too small for its expanding congregation, so in 1890
the old church was pulled down and replaced with the present Romanesque
and Gothic building which was consecrated in 1892.
The Apostolic-Orthodox Church of the Ascension
of Our Lord in Angerja (Eesti Apostlik-Õigeusu Kiriku Angerja
Issanda Taevaminemise Koguduse) is at Viljandi mnt 2, on the southern
side, immediately east of Luha street and the town of Kohila. In 1897,
the government sold off the manors of Kohila and Tohisoo, and a parcel
of the land was gained for the church. The cornerstone was laid at the
start of building in 1899, with design work by architect Vladimir
With its strongly Russian-influenced styling, it
was consecrated on 1 January 1901. Also called Angerja Church,
it was closed in 1950 during the Soviet era and was used to store
fertiliser. It was in a very bad condition (especially inside) when
re-opened in 1993 and a lot of work was required to bring it back
into use. It is now one of Estonia's very few Apostolic-Orthodox
churches to contain a brand new iconic painting, which includes
icons of all the saints.
St Mary Magdalene Church (Maarja-magdalene
kirik) is at the south-west corner of Koluvere mnt and Välja, in
Märjamaa. It was built in the 1300s as a fortress church with defensive
positions inside the building, and was the most westerly of its time.
Badly damaged in 1574, during the Livonian Wars, repairs were carried
out on the tower which closely resembles that of St Olaf's Church in
Tallinn. It was damaged again during the Second World War and repaired.
One photo on this page kindly contributed by Lauri
Oherd via the 'History Files: Churches of Estonia' Flickr group.