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Pirita Convent of Saint Brigitta (Pirita Klooster) (Tallinn)

Pirita Convent of Saint Brigitta (Pirita Klooster) (Tallinn)

Pirita Convent is an abandoned Roman Catholic religious complex that dates to the 15th century. It was constructed on the North- East outskirts of Tallinn. In the Middle Ages it was the largest monastery of Livonia region.

 

 

Location: Merivälja tee 18

Tel. +372 605 50 00

Apr- May, Sept- Oct 10am- 4pm

June- Aug 9am- 7pm

Nov 12- 4pm

 

 

 

History of Pirita Convent

The idea of construction of the Catholic monastery belongs to three merchants of Tallinn H.Huxer, G.Kruse and H.Swalbart with the group of supporters. It hard to tell what were their motivation, but soon they get unexpected help from two monks from the Vadstena Abbey in Sweden. These two monks arrived at the council of merchants and accepted an offer to construct a new monastery on Estonian land. It took another 10 years before Tallinn authorities allowed monks to begin construction of first buildings of the convent. New Pirita Convent was constructed under supervision of the architect Heinrich Swalbart on the lands donated by the town of Tallinn just 6 km from the medieval history town. Upon completion the main church of the monastery was consecrated on August 15, 1436 by the Bishop of Tallinn Heinrich II.

 

Pirita Convent of Saint Brigitta (Pirita Klooster) (Tallinn)  Pirita Convent of Saint Brigitta (Pirita Klooster) (Tallinn)  Pirita Convent of Saint Brigitta (Pirita Klooster) (Tallinn)  Pirita Convent of Saint Brigitta (Pirita Klooster) (Tallinn)  Pirita Convent of Saint Brigitta (Pirita Klooster) (Tallinn)  Pirita Convent of Saint Brigitta (Pirita Klooster) (Tallinn)

Over a course of several decades Pirita Convent grew in size and complexity. During its heyday it housed 60 nuns, 8 deacons and 13 priests, thus becoming the largest such convent in the region. Locals believed that most of riches of the Pirita Convent were hidden underground in a maze of underground tunnels. However monastery didn't last very long time. Just 150 years later in 1557 Russian soldiers under leadership of tsar Ivan the Terrible attacked this monastery during Livonian war. They burned down the convent and stole of the riches. Ruins of the Pirita Convent were abandoned by nuns, but area adjacent to the monastery became popular among the locals as a burial ground. Some of the old tombstones date back to the 17th century.

 

Pirita Convent of Saint Brigitta (Pirita Klooster) (Tallinn)  Pirita Convent of Saint Brigitta (Pirita Klooster) (Tallinn)

Today only parts of the medieval monastery survive today including the western pediment decorated with stepped niches, staircase of a former bell tower in the South- West and others. Today picturesque ruins of the abandoned Pirita Convent serve as a location for summer concerts and the annual celebration of the monastery. In 2001 Roman Catholic church constructed a new building near medieval ruins. Several nuns of the Order of Saint Brigitta are now living here.