Alex Nevsky, Tallinn

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Lossi plats 10, 10130 Tallinn +372 644 3484

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  • The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
    The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
    by ValbyDK
  • The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
    The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
    by ValbyDK
  • Worth the climb
    Worth the climb
    by easterntrekker
  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo

    Alex Nevsky Cathedral

    by easterntrekker Written Jan 7, 2014

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    Worth the climb

    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

    This huge church with its onion domes built in 1900 is under renovation ....spoiled our view but probably much needed. Even so it's beauty shined through .We are excited so to enter .Inside we see the high ceiling are painted sky blue .What really caught our eye was all the silver art work depicting various saints. unfortunately no photography is allowed.

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  • ValbyDK's Profile Photo

    The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

    by ValbyDK Written Jun 28, 2013

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    The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
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    The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an orthodox cathedral on the Toompea Hill in central Tallinn. It was built in typical Russian Revival style between 1894 and 1900, and is dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky who in 1242 won the Battle of the Ice on Lake Peipus.

    The cathedral is a must see in Tallinn... The onion shaped domes, and the towers with a total of 11 bells – one of them weights 15 tonnes, and is the largest in Tallinn. No photos allowed inside, but the interior is really stunning! Every inch of the cathedral is covered with orthodox mosaics and icons.

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    Upper Town: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

    by antistar Updated Jun 3, 2013

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    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn
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    The Nevsky is the grand Russian Orthodox church that crowns Toompea hill, the legendary resting place of Estonia's most famous folk hero. It dominates the more conservative Lutheran church next door, and isn't very popular with many Estonians who see it as a reminder of Soviet occupation.

    If you think it looks impressive outside, you need to take a peek through the door. The sumptuous, gilded interior is a marvel, with the extravagant decorations stretching high up into the curved dome of the roof.

    Seen as a symbol of Russian domination the cathedral was scheduled for demolition by the newly independent Estonian government of the 1920s. Thankfully it survived that, and nearly a century of atheistic Soviet rule, to be meticulously restored by the same Estonians that once planned its destruction.

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    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

    by ZeekLTK Written Aug 24, 2012
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    Alexander Nevsky was a Russian prince in the late 13th century and shortly after his death became known as a Saint of the Russian Orthodox Church. As such, many amazing cathedrals have been built in his name throughout eastern Europe. The cathedral in Tallinn is no exception, it's a remarkable building that really sticks out compared to the rest of its surroundings.

    The cathedral is open to go inside every day, but photography is not allowed. There isn't really a lot of room inside (that is open to the public at least), but it is still interesting to see nonetheless. Just be respectful since at least a handful of people in there will be there for a religious reason, not just sightseeing.

    An interesting fact about this particular cathedral is that it was built in the late 19th century during a "Russification period" and many Estonians did not like it, seeing it as a symbol of occupation. When they first gained independence in 1918, Estonia had actually planned to demolish the building, but never got around to doing it before the next period of occupation began.

    Then, under Soviet occupation, the cathedral went into decline (since the USSR was officially non-religious, so they never maintained it) so after independence in 1991, rather than demolish it, Estonia restored the cathedral to it's present state. Some minor restoration is even still ongoing, as some scaffolding was up when I visited in April 2012.

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  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    A slightly uneasy symbol of Russian presence

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Apr 3, 2012

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    Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral
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    The Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral dominates the Toompea skyline and is a beautifully restored building with a gorgeous interior and some unfortunate associations.

    The cathedral is a recent structure, and was only finished in 1900. Like many cathedrals across the former Russian territories, it is dedicated to the Prince of Novgorod, Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky, whose legendary victory at the Battle of the Ice at Lake Peipsi (on Estonia's eastern border) in 1242 brought an abrupt halt to the eastward expansion of the German crusading forces.

    However - sadly for a religious building - it is a divisive structure for ethnic Estonians, as it has become a symbol of repressive occupation as much as one of religious devotion. It was deliberately situated by the Russians in this prominent location (symbolically overshadowing the Estonian Parliament) and replaced a statue of Martin Luther as part of a deliberate policy of Russification, which only served to further alienate Estonians from the occupying power.

    One Estonian we met commented indignantly - and totally unprompted - that she was offended by tourists commenting on the beauty of "your" [ie. Estonians'] cathedral and resented the assumption that this symbol of colonial oppression was anything to do with Estonia. It is apparent that the tension between Estonians and ethic Russians is never far below the surface - see antistar's excellent discussion on this delicate topic, which summarises the situation far more effectively than I ever could.

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    Alex Nevski Cathedral

    by slothtraveller Written Jul 19, 2011

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    Aleksandr Nevski Cathderal, Toompea

    An unmissable Russian Orthodox cathedral perched on the top of Toompea and visible from parts of the Lower town, the Alex Nevski would be an impressive landmark for any city. Open daily between 8am-7pm, it was built between 1894 and 1900 as a place of worship for Tallinn's Orthodox community. As impressive as the domed exterior is, the interior is definitely worth taking a look at. Photography inside the cathedral is not allowed but you are allowed to take a look at the ornate religious art inside for no admission charge. The interior is very atmospheric and you are definitely more likely to hear Russian spoken than Estonian. Sadly, I re-visited the cathedral in the evening and there were people begging outside the doors. I am not sure how common this is, but it was not the only time I encountered people begging on the streets of Tallinn.

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  • Flying.Scotsman's Profile Photo

    Beautiful Orthodox cathedral

    by Flying.Scotsman Written Mar 30, 2011

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    Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral
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    This cathedral built in 1900 is an imposing building. Apparently there is a school of thought that believes it should be demolished as it's Russian style is not compatible with the surrounding architecture. To me it is just a beautiful building. While we visited there was a service in progress so I was unable to take any photographs, but the decor along with the beautiful music and chanting made the visit a most enjoyable one.

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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

    by call_me_rhia Updated Sep 21, 2010

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    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a spectacular cathedral on Toompea Hil...it’s actually more than spectacular, I would call it lavish and opulent. As you’ll guess from its onion-domed structure, it’s an Orthodox cathedral which was built in 1900 during the Russian occupation. Its name comes from the person it was dedicated to, Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky, who was the Prince of Novgorod.

    That this cathedralwanted to represent the occupying people’s power is very obvious: the place where it stands was the place where a statue of Martin Luther stood and – what’s more – is so prominent in the city that can be seen from everywhere. The cathedralis open May to September, Mon-Fri 8-19, Sat 8-20 and Sun 8-19

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  • ranger49's Profile Photo

    Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral

    by ranger49 Updated Aug 4, 2010

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    This rather Muscovite looking Orthodox Cathedaal dates only from the end of the 19th century and was designed by a Russian architect who based the design on that of the similar five domed churches of Moscow. In fact it was originally built here as a symbol of the domination of the ruling Russian power.
    I was rather surprised that in the years of de-Russia-fication following the Independence of Estonia in 1991, that it was not renamed - given the role played by Aleksander Nevsky in the Baltic struggles of the mid 13th Century. ( See the 1938 Eisenstein film with music by Prokoviev )
    Nowadays the church fulfills a more peaceful role as a place of regular worship where visitors are welcome. Though the ornate interior with glittering iconography is not to my taste.

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  • yvgr's Profile Photo

    Orthodox church

    by yvgr Written Jun 23, 2010

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    The Nevsky is an Orthodox church built by the CZar because he wanted to reinforce Russian Culture in Estonia. It's not allowed to take photos in here and we never entered since we're not Christians. Really beautiful building though...

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  • a5floor's Profile Photo

    Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral part I

    by a5floor Written Oct 18, 2009

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    Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral
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    The Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral is the biggest Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Tallinn. It was build between 1894 and 1900. Estonia was back then a part Russia.

    The Cathedral was dedicated to the Prince of Novgorod, Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky. He led the famous Battle of the Ice at Lake Peipsi in 1242 (which stopped the German crusaders going east).

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    The Onion Domes of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

    by grandmaR Updated Sep 15, 2009

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    Entrance
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    I wanted to see the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral as it was one of the things the port lecturer spoke about. It was on the list of things I told the pedicab driver that I wanted to see.

    The Cathedral is fairly modern, built in the Russian Orthodox style with the onion domes etc. - a 19th century building which is a little over the top in style for a 13th century medieval town. It was begun by Russian Tsar Alexander III in 1894 on what is believed to be the grave of the mythical Estonian king Kalev. Tsar Alexander named it for Alexander Nevsky, the prince of Novgorod, who in 1242 led the Russian army to victory against the invading Germans. It is controversial because many Estonians believe the Cathedral was built in yet another attempt to Russify them.

    We didn't go inside but I understand it is decorated with mosaics. Photography is not allowed inside.

    Opening hours: every day 8.00 - 19.00
    Services: every day 8.30 and 17.00

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  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Russian Orthodox Church in Tallinn

    by jumpingnorman Written Oct 26, 2008

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    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn, Estonia

    Ever since I visited Russia, I have been a fan of onion-domed orthodox churches. Tallinn has one that you cannot miss as you walk through Old Town.

    The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral 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. It is Tallinn's largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral, and I read somewhere that it was built over the grave of an Estonian hero. Who was it? - I have no idea...but maybe some of the 1.3 M Estonians know (as of 2008). A third of the population is ethnic Russian.

    Church free and open daily 0800-1900

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  • jorgec25's Profile Photo

    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

    by jorgec25 Written Oct 16, 2008

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    front entrance
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    The most impressive church in Tallin, at least to the eyes of someone from Southern Europe, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is the largest church in Tallin. Very well preserved, its colours are even more beautiful if you visit the cathedral late in the afternoon, around 8 p.m (i went there in june). Avoid to go there in the morning because its filled with guided tours and hundreds of people at the same time. The interior is very rich and "golden". Grandious.

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  • lalikes's Profile Photo

    St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

    by lalikes Written Oct 10, 2008

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    The largest domed cathedral in Tallinn. Building of this Orthodox church on Toompea was finished in 1900, when Estonia was a part of tsarist Russia. It's named after the 13th century Russian warrior who conquered much of Estonia. It's open Mon-Sun 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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