Restored gilded rooster graces spire of Hiiumaa church

A restored spire has been consecrated and installed atop a church on Hiiumaa.

The 151-year-old Pühalepa kukk (cockerel) is one-of-a-kind on Hiiumaa, and graces the top of the spire at the church, in the village of the same name, in the east of the island.

The church is dedicated to St. Lawrence (Estonian: Laurentius), one of seven deacons of the early church in Rome, during the pontificate of Pope Sixtus II, who were martyred (along with Sixtus himself) during a persecution ordered by Roman Emperor Valerian in 258 A.D.

Closer to home in geography and time, the restoration work itself was done by Rändmeister, a crafts business on the mainland.

Juhan Kilumets, Rändmeister's director, said the cockerel had several perforations which needed closing up, while gold leaf work followed priming and undercoats.

As for the spire itself, copper gilding was not initially in the plan due to its cost, but thanks to donations, this was also carried out.

"Local people and others associated with Hiiumaa came to the rescue, to help with the rooster's. We announced a campaign to collect donations," Triin Simson, a pastor at the Pühalepa church St. Lawrence, congregation said.

After the consecration, a tower ball with a time capsule was first brought up, and then

The structure was the consecrated, while a sphere similar to that found on other church spires in Estonia, in this case containing a time capsule with contemporary items inside, was lifted up to be put in place.

Erected in 1872, the cockerel is the only one on the island, even as similar designs are more common on the mainland.

Helgi Põllo, scientific director at Hiiumaa Museum, said one theory as to the cockerel's origins was that: "Alexander Sengbusch, a pastor at the time, as of 1872 had been a minister for 50 years. Since he was born in Riga and was certainly a man of Livonia as such, my belief is that this rooster was somehow an even bigger symbol when the spire was built, if only to celebrate his jubilee, as it were."

Livonia was a historical region which in the later middle ages and into the early modern period corresponded to present-day South Estonia (Hiiumaa itself was under Swedish rule at the time) and northern Latvia, while the Livonian language (Liivi keel) is related to Estonian.

More restoration work to the church tower is due to be completed later in the spring, ERR reports.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mari Peegel

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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