Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Is Better Than Old Churches?

Back in May, I told you that I had decided that I would make a personal project of photographing all the old churches in Estonia.

I have revised it a bit...they have to be built before 1900. I still may have bitten off more than I can chew, but I have continued to work on it none the less.

I went to Saaremaa a couple weeks ago for Regional Outreach and took a few more pictures, including a pentacle in the Kaarma Church that I missed in May.

Yesterday, we went back down to Saaremaa so I could speak to students at the GLOBE camp, and I got to see something even better than an old Estonian church.

I got to see one of the candidates for the OLDEST church in Estonia...and they were doing archaeology there!

The Pöide Church was built around the mid-1200s. The archaeologist I spoke with said that while the Kaarma Church was built around the same time but was likely a little younger. He even showed me some of their finds.

Plus, there were art historians there who were carefully removing the plaster covering the paintings on the wall. Restoration work is going on outside of the church as well. I hope to go back again and see how they progress.

We saw a couple other churches too, including one, Birth of Christ Orthodox, just off the island that is in ruins.

This is what it looked like before it bombed in World War II, and construction blasting in the area made the roof fall in.

This is one of just one of dozens, perhaps of hundreds of ruined churches in Estonia. I find them haunting and  sad.

Even if I can't finish this project, I am really enjoying it.

1 comment:

Erin G said...

Love this. I basically have a whole pinboard on pinterest that I use to save pretty churches when people post pictures of them. The different ways people design and want worship space is fascinating to me. I would love exploring this little culture of Estonia with y'all! So cool.