St Simeon church in 1930

St Simeon church in 2001

The church of Righteous Symeon and Prophetess Ann

of the Orthodox Church of Estonia

The church dedicated to St. Symeon and Anne in Tallinn was built on the initiative of Russian marines two and a half centuries ago, in 1752-1755. According to a tradition, the church was built on the rubble of a wrecked ship. First, a chapel was raised, and then the church was built by the donations of the marines.
Afterwards, a two-storied brick dwelling house and church annexes were added.
In 1827 and 1871, larger reconstructions were made. The present size, the front side look and cross-shaped ground plan probably date back to this time. The church has got a bell-tower and an onion shaped cupola crowns the elevated middle part.
In 1918-1919 an Estonian parish headed by priest Anton Laar started its activity. On March 3, 1919 the church was officially given to the Estonian parish by the first Estonian-born Orthodox bishop Platon. For a long time (1919-1936), archpriest Nikolai Päts was the rector of the parish.
In 1920's and 1930's, the number of parish members was approximately 450. A choir of almost a hundred persons (the choir of choral society "Helila" developed from it afterwards) and dramatic societies were acting.
By the decree of the President, the church together with the annexes was given to the use of the parish in 1934. In 1935, the interior was renewed. Already next year, however, the Russian-speaking parish of the St. Alexander Nevsky church exchanged the church building with the Estonian parish.
The Soviet era brought along the termination of the parish activities. In 1963 the State nationalized the church building. The tower and the cupola were demolished and the iconostasis and sacred vessels were partly taken to the cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky, partly disappeared to an unknown direction. Many icons, including a miracle-working image of the Blessed Virgin, are in the cathedral up to this day.
From 1970's the building was used as a sports hall. In 1987 it was given to `Immanuel' Pentecostal parish. In 1999, the return process of the sanctuary started. President Lennart Meri and various departments of the Tallinn City Administration supported it. Beginning from July 11, 2001, the church is again in the use of the Orthodox Church of Estonia. The restoration work has started.

The parish of St. Symeon and Anne of the Orthodox Church of Estonia was re-opened in March 13, 2000 and like it was during the First Republic of Estonia, it is the second Estonian parish in Tallinn. In course of its yearlong existence, the numbers of the parish has grown up to 40 persons and a ten-member choir and Sunday school are acting.
On October 29. 2000, a major event in the life of the parish took place. His Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, blessed the start of repair works. Also, he opened a memorial tablet on the wall of the church.

The St. Symeon church of Tallinn is one of the few wooden churches survived in Estonia. It is an architectural monument. It is situated in the so-called Old Harbor area near the "Admiralty Basin", an area that is coming to be a section of the town with modern buildings. The changing environment stresses the architectural and historical value of the church even more.
The renovation work is planned to be carried out in three stages in the course of five years (2001-2005). A rough plan of restoration has been prepared by architect Villu Rohtla by an order from the Cultural Heritage Department of Estonia.
A calculation made by Restoration Company "Frantsiskus Co." estimates the costs of the renovation works as 7 million Estonian crowns (about 400,000 dollars). The goal of the Orthodox Church of Estonia is to restore the church building in ifs former form. His Eminence Metropolitan Stephanos has expressed the will to use it in the future as the cathedral church.
As Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stressed in his speech on the blessing of the start of restoration work, the eternal dimension has to be kept in mind during the renovation of a sanctuary side by side with human and material. In a church, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated for the whole world, and innumerable prayers are said to God for the town and its inhabitants.

It is not easy for the Estonian Orthodox Church, which is re-building its church life, to restore the sanctuary. It is possible only with a common effort of us all. Both donations and every other kind of help are welcome. With the blessing of Metropolitan Stephanos, a bank account has been opened in the Eesti Chispank with the name: EAÔK Tallinna Siimeoni ja naisprohvet Hanna kogudus 10220009577016 Ühispank, S.W.LET EEUHEE2X Telex 173006 UNION EE

It is also possible to make donations in the parish of St. Symeon and Anne. Our address is Ahtri 5, 10151 Tallinn The priest of the parish is Father Mattias Palli Phone: +372 601 3244 (speaks estonian and english languages) E-mail: mattias@eaok.ee

Interior of the church in 1936

Vespers in 2001

Calculation of the cost made by Frantsiskus Co. and plans by architect T. Parmakson April 10, 2000

Change of roof covering together with rafter appliance and isolation
EEK 800 000
Renovation of the cupola
EEK 450 000
Renovation of the tower
EEK 700 000
Renovation of outer walls with partial change of scaffolding
EEK 910 000
Partial change of lower logs
EEK 350 000
Reinforcement of foundation
EEK 150 000
Renovation of doors (14) and windows (11)
EEK 150 000
Restoration of the former look of the ceiling
EEK 350 000
Restoration of the former look of the inside walls
EEK 550 000
Partial change and total repair of the floor
EEK 450 000
Restoration of the balcony
EEK 250 000
Installation of electricity
EEK 250 000
Heating system (electric or stove heating + chimneys)
EEK 200 000
Water and sewer system
EEK 150 000
Installation of an iconostasis and other furnishing
EEK 350 000
Iron fence with limestone posts 45 m.
EEK 750 000
Verdant area and roads
EEK 250 000
EEK 7 010 000

St Platon with clergy of EOC 1919

Patriarch Bartholomew blessing the start of repair work

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