Historical Pühalepa Church spire removed, replacement made in Saaremaa

The removal of the historical spire from Pühalepa Church, Hiiumaa.
The removal of the historical spire from Pühalepa Church, Hiiumaa. Source: Juhan Hepner/ERR

The old spire of Pühalepa Church in Hiiumaa, which dates back to the 19th century, has been removed, with a new one set to be installed in the coming weeks. Somewhat unusually, the new spire was built in Saaremaa and had to be taken apart before being transported to Hiiumaa, where it has since been reassembled and is now ready to take its place on top of the church tower.

On Thursday morning, a large crane arrived in the courtyard of Pühalepa Church in Hiiumaa, where it took several hours of careful preparation, before work could begin on the removal of the historical spire.

Juhan Kilumets, manager of Rändmeister, the company responsible for the renovation work on the church, said, that usually in such cases, making on-the-spot repairs and replacing only the damaged parts is possible. However, the Pühalepa Church spire was in such poor condition that the only real option was to remove it entirely and install a new one.

"A large part of the supporting structure, the cruciform trusses, hinges and other joints, had been weakened or otherwise damaged," explained Kilumets.

"There's also been a lot of haphazard repair work done over the years, and the spire's covering is problematic. All these problems added up to the decision to take down the entire support structure and then replace it with a new spire," Kilumets said.

With the preparations complete, the old spire was finally lifted into the air by crane, and then deposited safely on the ground. All within a matter of minutes.

Work will now get underway on repairs to the walls of the church tower, with the new spire expected to be put in place on top of the church in the next few weeks. For the time being, it is safely protected under a layer of plastic sheeting in the Pühalepa Church car park.

What makes the new spire slightly unusual is that, it was actually built in Saaremaa, rather than locally. As result, it needed to be taken apart first before it could be transported to Hiiumaa, where it was then reassembled ready for use.

"The fact that it's been made somewhere far away from home is something of a rarity. It was purely for technical and logistical reasons, nothing else," Kilumets said.

Once the new spire has been successfully installed, work on Pühalepa Church tower will continue until spring, when it is due to be completed.

While most of the incoming spire has been made using new, sturdier material, it also include some parts of the historical structure. A section of the old tower's central post inscribed with the year "1838" will remain, as will the sphere and weather vane, which sit proudly on top of the church.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Michael Cole

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: