Narva Alexander’s Cathedral
Narva Alexander’s Cathedral in Narva operates as a museum and as a Lutheran congregation. The idea of its construction was first voiced in 1879. At that time, the largest factory in Narva – Kreenholm Manufactory – employed about 5,000 Lutherans, who became the first parishioners of the new church.
The Neo-Romanesque church building was designed by Otto Pius Hippius. He also supervised the construction work at the initial stage. He was later replaced by the Krenholm architect Paul Alisch. The masonry walls were done by Luka Tuzov from Kronstadt, and the interior decoration was done by Emelyan Volkov.
The history of Narva Alexander’s Cathedral
The initiator of the building of the Lutheran Church was Ferdinand Gottlieb Tannenberg, pastor of St Johannes Parish. The land for the church building was donated by Georg von Kramer, the landowner of Joala Manor. The owner of Krenholm manufacture Ludvig von Knoop, who donated 184000 rubles for the cause, financed the construction.
Construction of the temple began in June 1879. He received his name in 1883. A precondition for this was the death of Russian Emperor Alexander II at the hands of terrorists on March 1, 1881. The solemn consecration of the cathedral took place on May 28, 1884. At the time of its construction, St. Alexander’s Cathedral was the largest church building in Estonia.
In the XX century the cathedral was doomed to a very difficult fate. Most of its premises were occupied by the government of the Estonian Workers’ Commune in 1919. The church also suffered during World War II. In 1944 an aviation shell hit the cathedral, damaging the dome and spire, and in the summer of the same year German soldiers blew up the church tower, destroying it completely. In 1959 the cathedral was restored, but already in 1962 the authorities forced the parish to surrender the premises as a warehouse.
In 1990, the church was returned to the Narva Lutheran Church. Four years later, on 8 July 1994, for the first time after a 32-year break, church service was held in the building. On the 120th anniversary of the church the historic bell was restored, in 2004 new church windows were blessed, made by Dolores Hoffmann, and in August 2007 the tower spire was completely restored. Today, the tower of St. Alexander’s Church is 60.7 meters high, including the 4-meter cross.
Address of St. Alexander’s Cathedral in Narva:
Kiriku tänav 9, Narva
Today’s Temple Day
Nowadays divine services in the cathedral are held only in summer. At other times of the year parishioners gather in the small church. There is a museum with a cultural and historical exposition in the bell tower of the temple. There is no charge for visiting the cathedral, but you need to buy a ticket to see the museum exhibit.