Friday, February 19, 2010

Picture Day Friday

St. Nicholas in Tallinn is Estonia's main Russian Orthodox cathedral. I visited here in the summer of 2002 and was blown away by its beauty.

St. Nicholas is also by far the grandest, most opulent Orthodox church in Tallinn. Built in 1900, when Estonia was part of the tsarist Russian empire, the cathedral was originally intended as a symbol of the empire's dominance—both religious and political—over this increasingly unruly Baltic territory. The cathedral was dedicated to the Prince of Novgorod, Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky, who led the famous Battle of the Ice at Lake Peipsi in 1242, which halted the German crusaders' eastward advance. It was deliberately placed in this prominent location right in front of Toompea Castle at the top of Toompea Hill, on the same spot where a statue of Martin Luther had previously stood. Designed by respected St. Petersburg architect Mikhail Preobrazhenski, the church is richly decorated in a mixed historical style. The church's towers hold Tallinn's most powerful church bell ensemble, consisting of eleven bells. You can hear the entire ensemble playing before each service.




Nicola Cornick said...

What a stunning cathedral, Keira. I would love to visit the Baltic States. You've just prompted me to move the trip to the top of my wishlist! Thanks for the post!

Anna Campbell said...

Keira, how magnificent! A Baltic cruise has long been on my wish list. How lucky you are to have seen this cathedral in the 'flesh'!

Keira Soleore said...

Nicola and Fo:

That one very short trip to Talinn was the highlight of my month-long sojourn Britain and Scandinavia. The guide, the waiter at the restaurant, the sights, the people, the indomitable spirit, the dedication to their country and their culture...It's left an indelible mark on my memory.

We took a short fast boat from Helsinki to Talinn.

Fo, I know you've been to St. Petersburgh, but otherwise, that's not too far a ride away from Talinn. A Baltic cruise. Very cool idea!!

I'm seeing a future for Regency heroes to have had a stint in the Baltics... Yes?