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Photo by: Toomas Volmer

Photo by: Merlen Aringo

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

3.5

based on 39 reviews

Location (map)

Vabaduse väljak 1, Tallinn

City Centre

More

Distance from:

Airport

4.9km

Harbour

1.7km

Train station

1.20km

Bus station

2.90km

Contact

tallinna.jaani@eelk.ee

+372 644 6206

Information

More

Accessibility

Restricted accessibility
  • doors width less than 70 cm
  • threshold or step hight more than 4 cm
  • gradient of ramp over 10%
16cm
High treshold
  • threshold hight over 2,5 cm
  • height in cm above the symbol

The bright yellow, neo-Gothic church that dominates Freedom Square is a true survivor among the city's churches.

Despite two attempts to tear it down in the last century, it has persevered and is likely to be around for a long time to come.

The idea for St. John's church first came about in the mid-19th century when the city's growing population of ethnic Estonians made the Holy Spirit Church too small for its congregation. A new church, which at the pastor's suggestion was named for St. John the Evangelist, was founded.

Construction lasted from 1862 to 1867, and was carried out under the supervision of the church's designer, Tallinn-born architect Christoph August Gabler. Building on this spot was no easy task. The area here outside the old city wall had earlier been the site of the town moat, so the land was too soft to hold up the structure's foundation. The solution was to ram dozens of thick oak trunks into the ground for extra support.

By the 1930s, a new crop of art deco and functionalist buildings had appeared around Freedom Square, leaving the church's neo-Gothic appearance dramatically out of step with its surroundings. However, the city's plans to pull down the church and reconstruct the square were never realised due to the war and subsequent occupation of Estonia. Likewise, avant-guard architects had similar ideas in the 1950s, but fortunately, these were never followed through.


Location (map)

Vabaduse väljak 1, Tallinn

City Centre

More

Distance from:

Airport

4.9km

Harbour

1.7km

Train station

1.20km

Bus station

2.90km

Contact

tallinna.jaani@eelk.ee

+372 644 6206

Information

More

Accessibility

Restricted accessibility
  • doors width less than 70 cm
  • threshold or step hight more than 4 cm
  • gradient of ramp over 10%
16cm
High treshold
  • threshold hight over 2,5 cm
  • height in cm above the symbol
TripAdvisor® Traveler Reviews

"A modest church but worth a visit"

3.5

August 3, 2018, by Rami A

A very modest church certainly not as impressive as others in the city, but still worth a visit. Not too far from the center (walking distance) Read more

"Nice church "

3.5

May 2, 2018, by wolf3728

Went to the church today and when I walked inside there was organ and fuete music playing. The acoustics were very good. Outside is interesting but the inside is very nice. Read more

"Outside is plain but inside is more interesting "

3.5

June 2, 2017, by AdventureUnlimited01

I love all the unique pipe organs in European churches and this one didnt disappoint. It was quiet and peaceful inside the church. Since its a bit on the outskirts of Old Town I suspect it gets... Read more

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