A new tower will be built at St. Mary's Church (Maarja kirik) in Tartu as part of restoration work that will renovate the entire building. The cornerstone for the construction work was laid on Sunday.
The work starts on Monday and is due to be completed by the end of the summer. Almost €1.5 million was raised through donations and after the tower is built, the church will be 33 meters high.
The church is known as the cradle of the Estonian song festival because in 1869 the first song festival began in St. Mary's. The church was partly destroyed during the Second World War in July 1941.
"We have been waiting for it for a very long time, as a congregation, we have been waiting for 60 years. It is a great feeling. This tower significantly changes the cityscape of Tartu," said Silvia Leiaru, director of the church's foundation.
On Sunday, a service took place in front of the church on Pepleri tänav to bless the tower and was conducted by Bishop Joel Luhamets and Timo Švedko, from the church's congregation. There was a performance by the choir.
Editor: Helen Wright