Narva Alexander’s Cathedral

The Narva Alexander’s Cathedral is the city’s only Lutheran church. Its construction was first proposed in 1879. At that time, about 5,000 Lutherans worked at Narva’s largest enterprise, the Krenholm Manufacturing Company, and they became the first parishioners of the new church.

History of the Narva Alexander’s Church

The initiative to build the Lutheran church came from Pastor Ferdinand Gottlieb Tannenberg of St. John’s parish. The land for the church building was donated by the estate owner of “Joala,” Georg von Kramer. The construction was funded by Ludwig Knoop, owner of the Krenholm Manufacturing Company, who donated 184,000 rubles for the noble cause.

Construction of the cathedral began in June 1879. It was named in 1883, following the assassination of Russian Emperor Alexander II by terrorists on March 1, 1881. The cathedral was consecrated on May 28, 1884. At the time of its construction, the Alexander Cathedral was the largest church building in Estonia.

The 20th century was a tumultuous time for the cathedral. For most of 1919, its premises were occupied by the government of the Estonian Labour Commune. The church also suffered during World War II. In 1944, an aerial bomb damaged its dome and spire, and that summer, German soldiers blew up the church tower, destroying it. The cathedral was restored in 1959, but by 1962, the authorities forced the parish to give up the building for use as a warehouse.

The Alexander Lutheran Church in Narva was returned to the Lutheran Church in 1990. Four years later, on July 8, 1994, a service was held in the cathedral building for the first time after a 32-year hiatus. For its 120th anniversary, the historic bell was restored, and in 2004, new church stained glass windows crafted by Dolores Hoffmann were consecrated. In August 2007, the tower spire was fully restored. Today, the height of the Alexander Church tower is 60.7 meters, including a 4-meter cross.

Photo Gallery

The Architect of Narva’s Lutheran Cathedral

The Alexander Church, designed in the Neo-Romanesque style, was created by St. Petersburg architect Otto von Gippius, who also supervised the construction work in its initial stages. This honorable mission was later entrusted to Krenholm architect Paul Alisch. The stone walls were laid by Kronstadt stonemason Luka Tuzov, while Emelyan Volkov was responsible for the interior decoration.

Location on the Map

Address of the Alexander Cathedral in Narva:
Kiriku tänav 9, Narva city

Other Interesting Places

  • Check out the Swedish Lion sculpture, a historical landmark near Narva Castle, which we highly recommend visiting.
  • Also, take a look at the Narva Town Hall. It was closed to visitors for a long time but reopened in 2023 after extensive restoration work.
  • Make time to walk up the steps of the Hahn’s Steps, built by Narva’s first mayor, now serving as a kind of monument to him.