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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn ( June 4 ) Pentecost Service. History of the Church. Russian Ortodox Church. Gallery & Photos. Visit Estonia.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The large and richly decorated Russian Orthodox church, designed in a mixed historicist style, was completed on Toompea Hill in 1900, when Estonia was part of the Czarist Empire.
The well-maintained cathedral is one of the most monumental examples of Orthodox sacral architecture in Tallinn. Tallinn’s most powerful ensemble of church bells is located in the church towers. It comprises 11 bells, including Tallinn’s largest bell, which weighs 15 tonnes. Carillons by the entire ensemble can be heard before services. The interior, which is decorated with mosaics and icons, is worth a visit.

History of the Church.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an orthodox cathedral in the Tallinn Old Town, Estonia. It was built to a design by Mikhail Preobrazhensky in a typical Russian Revival style between 1894 and 1900, during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Tallinn’s largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral. It is dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky who in 1242 won the Battle of the Ice on Lake Peipus, in the territorial waters of present-day Estonia. The late Russian patriarch, Alexis II, started his priestly ministry in the church.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral crowns the hill of Toompea which is one of several places where according to legend the Estonian folk hero Kalevipoeg’s father Kalev is said to have been buried.The cathedral was built during the period of late 19th century Russification and was so disliked by many Estonians as a symbol of oppression that the Estonian authorities scheduled the cathedral for demolition in 1924, but the decision was never implemented due to lack of funds and the building’s massive construction. As the USSR was officially non-religious, many churches including this cathedral were left to decline. The church has been meticulously restored since Estonia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Construction and Interior

[Not a valid template]The cathedral is richly decorated and has eleven bells cast in Saint Petersburg, the largest of which weighs about 16 tons, more than the other ten combined. It has three altars, with the northern altar dedicated to Vladimir I and the southern to St. Sergius of Radonezh.


The base of the building is Finnish granite. In the five onion domes, gilded iron crosses are seen. Inside are three gilded, carved wooden iconostases, along with four icon boxes. The icons of the iconostasis and icon boxes were painted in St. Petersburg on copper and zinc plates. The windows are decorated with stained glass.

Lovely Russian Orthodox Church – in Regular use

Both the exterior architecture and also the internal decor are quite stunning to a Western Eye. This is a fully functioning Cathedral and one needs to be respectful of the regular worshippers coming in and out. No internal Photography allowed.

Historic †Russian‡ †Orthodox‡ †Church‡

You’ll think all you do is visit historic churches in Tallin, but don’t miss this one. It is a beautiful traditional Russian Orthodox church different from the Lutheran and Catholic ones you will see. Its location on the hill makes it a great photo op. If you can be there on Sunday, you can perhaps be present for the liturgy, The singing will transport you.

This cathedral is situated at the top of Toompea Hill. It is a very grand cathedral indeed and is homage to St Alexander Nevsky.

The architecture is based on a Russian style and was built in the late nineteenth century. There are five domes and they have iron crosses. The floor is made of granite. Stained glass windows adorn the cathedral. There are a total of eleven bells.

When you enter the cathedral, you will notice three altars. The interior is beautiful and the decorations are something to marvel at. There are many icons to see.

This Russian Orthodox church is definitely worth a visit.

There is no entrance fee.

“Cathedral visit”

A beautiful cathedral inspired by Russian influence. Almost got demolished after Russian were evicted but managed to be kept by Estonians. Still a working church today.

The must see in Tallin

Get a ticket for the hop-on/hop-off bus, take the bus to the upper reaches of the city, get off at the Cathedral, tour it as it is not crowded as the Russian Orthodox churches in St Petersburg are, and then work your way down the cobble streets from the upper town. Most of the guide books recommend this and it is the preferred way to tackle the town. The views from the upper town provide a fantastic panorama of the city!

Beautiful architecture

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral can be seen as the cream of your walk in the Old Town. The Russian Orthodox church has a beautiful architecture that reflects classic Russian and can be reached at the end of your walk in Old Town. The park in front of the church can be used as a time-out point for your walk in the town.

Beautiful Russian Orthodox Church

During our free walking tour we got to see many interesting sites/sights and hear there story’s. This church is incredibly eye catching siting in Toompea/upper town. Built in the late 1800’s by the reigning Russian empire, to remind the people who was in charge as told by our guide. This is one of many must sees within Toompea/upper town

Great example of a Russian‡ Orthodox Church

In the Upper Town is this 19th Century Orthodox Cathedral. It is a dominating building in Palace Square. From the outside the dark cupolas tipped in gold are in stark contrast to the salmon and white colored faces of the church.

Inside the walls are punctuated by gold and stunning mosaics. We were fortunate to visit on a day during the weekend services. The acoustics were stunning

A beautiful cathedral

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an important part of the Old Town skyline. It is worth a visit to see the role the Russian Orthodox Church played in the lives of Estonia. The church has many lovely icons to gaze upon. There are chairs available to sit in to absorb the atmosphere. Many visitors are there to light candles to the saints and pray. There is no photography allowed inside so those praying are not disturbed.

Best cathedral in Estonia

The Russian orthodox church is the most beautiful church in Estonia opposite to the Parliament. It was built in 1900. It is open to all, but you can not take pictures inside. The rear crescent on under the cross (on top of the cathedral) signifies beating the Ottoman empire (not a nice gesture though).

Better on the outside

This church is still very much a place of worship so you can’t really explore the inside, which was disappointing.

As a visitor to Tallinn and not having been in a Russian orthodox church before I wanted to see and learn more, but apparently the centrally located and prominent building is only about servicing its members. Definitely not an evangelical church interested in spreading the gospel.

Worth a Look Inside

The exterior of the building is very beautiful (and currently undergoing renovation). You can visit the inside for free, which is not the case for all of the churches in Old Town Tallinn. The interior is very ornate. I had never been in a Russian Orthodox church before and was suitably impressed. It sits at the top of a hill and you can get some great photos of the exterior.

Must-see while in Tallinn

Opposite the Parliament of Estonia is the most well-known Russian Orthodox Church in Estonia. This is a place, where you will hear praying when you step in and the main lanuage will be Russian. Of course the curch itself is really beautiful, as you can already see from far away. As it is open for free, then you really need to step in and have a look.

Big and very nice Orthodox church in Tallinn.

Most opulent Orthodox church in Tallinn. Cathedral is often shown as the ‘face’ of Tallinn even though there are much more historic and culturally significant buildings in the old town of Tallinn. The building dominates and is attractive inside and out. Tallinn’s considerable Russian Orthodox faithful worship here.
100% must see!

Living Faith

I understand that the Russian Tsar built this church here in Lutheran Tallinn much to the chagrin of the Tallinn locals. Still, it is obvious that it presents a tangible piece of living the faith here. We stepped inside while a mass was taking place. Ordinarily this makes me uncomfortable, but the church was very clear defining how close you could and couldn’t be, and how there was to be no video, audio, or photo recording. This didn’t shut out a cultural visit, but made claim for the primary purpose of the space: worship. Having never experienced an orthodox mass and as a musician, I was thrilled to hear the chants sung. As one who loves religious spaces, I was so pleased to be permitted to see the movement of the priests around the altar and into the holy of holies, the congregation standing and swaying to the chant. The incense in the air really does emphasize the sense-surround experience.

Perhaps I would have liked to have seen more of the church, but experiencing a bit of the service was more important.







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