Currently best known for a dispute over a hoard of coins discovered under the floor, the Risti church, which is undergoing renovation, has now revealed that the ceiling of the edifice is just as impressive.
The church in western Harju County has been found to have a number of paintings long hidden under layers of finishing, some of them dating back to the Livonian War era in the late 16th century, uudised.err.ee reported.
The most notable finds during the restoration project, which began in autumn 2011, included two color imitations of decorative ogival arches on the ceiling, thought to have been painted in the 1600s.
The strokes, done using a fishtail pattern, were later gone over a second time with a solid line. Paintings also adorn the area around the windows and the arches.
The restorers were surprised to discover a number of other ornaments and symbols under a layer of plaster on the walls, the congregation said. Some of these are from the late 18th century.
Risti is one of the oldest churches in northern Estonia, founded by monks from the Cistercian order at Padise in the 13th to 14th centuries. Construction was completed in the early 1400s.
The first stage of the restoration lasted two years and had a price tag of 89,000 euros.