This and next Friday, November 4 and 11, visitors are invited to attend tours of St. Mary's Church in Tartu, where they can visit the newly rebuilt steeple and take in a view of Estonia's second city that hadn't existed for more than 80 years.
St. Mary's Church was among the buildings hit in the July 1941 bombing of Tartu, and the last remnants of the damaged steeple were torn down after occupying Soviet forces handed over use of the building to the Estonian Agricultural Academy (EPA), which turned the former church into a gym.
Established in 2003, the St. Mary's Church of Tartu Foundation has since led efforts to rebuild and restore the church, including its historic steeple, which was completed this year.
This and next Friday, November 4 and 11, the foundation is hosting tours of the steeple that will also give participants a chance to see other work done thus far and learn more about both the history and the future of the church, according to a city press release.
Tours will begin both days at 12 and 3 p.m. and last approximately one hour.
Visitors are asked to convene by the main door of the church, which is located at Pepleri 1, at the corner of Kuperjanovi tänav.
First Song Festival dress rehearsal
Built in the classicist style, St. Mary's Church was completed in 1841 and consecrated the following January.
Johann Voldemar Jannsen, one of the leaders of Estonia's national awakening in the late 19th century, appointed St. Mary's pastor Adalbert Hugo Willigerode chairman of the organizing committee of Estonia's first Song Festival, which was likewise held in Tartu in 1869.
The three-hour dress rehearsal of the Song Festival took place at St. Mary's Church on June 17, 1869, involving some 800 singers in 40 choirs, including the St. Mary's Church Choir.
Editor: Aili Vahtla