The Holy Church in Saaremaa


Initially, the church was probably built out of wood, around the second half of the XIII century. In the XIV century, after it became the center of a parish, it was replaced with a stone church. This happened probably after the St. George's Night Uprising had been banished.

The church had one aisle with two bays; three portals and the room above the sacristy was built into a separate floor. This had small windows, which could be used as embrasure, and also a fireplace.

The church was surrounded by massive walls, which gave it a proper defence function during the Middle Ages.

The forces of Ivan the Cruel destroyed the church in the Livonian War in 1576, and it was rebuilt in 1603. It received the contemporary exterior: Middle Age layout was sustained, but a massive western tower was built as an extra fortification.


Image source: A.Pajur, A. Kriiska, A. Tvauri, A. Selart, B. Kibal, A. Andersen "Eesti Ajaloo Atlas" Avita 2006