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Läänemaa Churches Tour

1. Haapsalu Bishop’s Castle Cathedral 2. St John’s Lutheran Church in Haapsalu 3. Haapsalu Maria-Magdaleena Church 4. Noarootsi Church 5. Rooslepa Chapel and Cemetery 6. Nõva Church 7. Lääne-Nigula Church 8. Piirsalu church 9. Kullamaa Church 10. Kirbla Church 11. Karuse Church 12. Hanila Church 13. Martna Church 14. Põgari tabernacle 15. Ridala Church 16. St Olav’s Church in Vormsi 17. Vormsi Cemetery

  • 2 days
  • 17 sites
  • 323 km

The churches of Läänemaa present a unique amalgam of architecture, culture and religion. The Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek was established 800 years ago. During the tour you will see the peculiar features of the religious landscape 
of Läänemaa from the ancient times to our own days. The Lutheran parishes have worked in medieval Catholic churches, the numerous Orthodox churches reflect unique features of the former religious policies. You will discover different national cultures peacefully existing side by side and even now the influence of the Estonian Swedes is a factor here. Local churches still house some pipe organs of unique value that form an important part of the Estonian organ music legacy.

Route map

Sites along route

Haapsalu Bishop’s Castle Cathedral

Attraction

The medieval Cathedral (1279) is the largest single-nave church in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The baptismal chapel is unique, and thanks to its good acoustics, is a wonderful concert venue…

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St John’s Lutheran Church in Haapsalu

Attraction

St. John’s Church in Haapsalu which is rebuilt from a 15th century warehouse differs from other churches for its location of north-south orientation. When entering the church you should certainly pay…

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Haapsalu Maria-Magdaleena Church

Attraction

The Estonian Orthodox Maria Magdaleena Church is located in an idyllic area of Haapsalu – on the Promenade. Russian Tsar Alexander II attended the opening of the church in 1852. The church was…

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Noarootsi Church

Attraction

Noarootsi Church in late-Gothic style was built around 1500. You will first notice the Falu red plank roof – the church is one of the three plank-roof churches in Estonia. In the medieval times the…

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Rooslepa Chapel and Cemetery

Attraction

The ruins of Rooslepa chapel originate from the 17th century. It was originally built as a wooden chapel. The present stone chapel was built in 1834. The chapel fell apart after World War II, but the…

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Nõva Church

Attraction

Olev’s Church in Nõva originating from the 18th century is a cosy wooden beach-chapel-style church with unique stained glass imitations. It is one of the few wooden churches preserved in Estonia, it…

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Lääne-Nigula Church

Attraction

Driving on the highway through Taebla you will see Lääne-Nigula Church. The building was restored in 1816, the steeple dates back to 1882. The height of the church is 52.2 metres of which the spire…

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Piirsalu church

Attraction

Construction of the church began in 1859 on the initiative of the lord of the local manor, Arthur von zur Mühlen, who was inspired by a small neogothic village church in Germany. The walls feature…

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Kullamaa Church

Attraction

Of the interior of the church which dates back to the 13th century one should pay attention to the pulpit, chandeliers, organ, altar painting, H. Göseken’s epitaph and triumphal arch group…

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Kirbla Church

Attraction

Kirbla church built in the beginning of 16th century is one of the smallest stone churches in Estonia. Its length is 30 metres and its width 11 metres. According to the legend people could not agree…

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Karuse Church

Attraction

Karuse church is one of the oldest sacral buildings in Läänemaa – it was built in the 1260s as a fortress-church for the Livonian Order. Inside the church you should pay attention to the Baroque…

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Hanila Church

Attraction

Hanila church is one of the most stylish early-Gothic-style sacral buildings in the Saare-Lääne region and was built in the 13th century. In the west wall of the church you should pay attention to…

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Martna Church

Attraction

St. Martin’ Church – exceptionally wide for a single-nave church – was built in the beginning of the 16th century. Pay attention to the shield of Saare-Lääne bishop Johannes III Orgas above the north…

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Põgari tabernacle

Attraction

Thought to have been constructed in 1930, the tabernacle is one of the village's most eye-catching buildings for its ochre-yellow cladding. No major changes have been made to its main hall, kitchen…

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Ridala Church

Attraction

Ridala Church is one of the most valuable churches in Läänemaa from the artistic point of view. It has been dedicated to Mary Magdalene whose figure in the church is one of the oldest sculptured…

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St Olav’s Church in Vormsi

Attraction

Vormsi church which dates back to the 14th century and is the main memento of its history and culture – is located in the centre of the island, in Hullo. The church was unused for a long time after…

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Vormsi Cemetery

Attraction

Vormsi Cemetery right next to St Olav’s Church on the island of Vormsi is one of the most unique cemeteries in Estonia. In the older part of the cemetery you will find many limestone and sandstone…

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