Sunday, August 17, 2008

ESTONIA - Saaremaa

St. Martin's Church of Valjala.
Saint Martin's Church of Valjala is the oldest church in Estonia situated in Valjala Commune, approximately 25 kilometers from Kuressaare on the island of Saaremaa (Ösel). Immediately after the conquest of 1227, a stone chapel was erected in Valjala not far from the ancient stronghold. Its walls form the lower part of the present church choir. On the southern side of the chapel, there was a vestry. Soon after completion, the chapel was decorated with murals, the remaining fragments of which may be seen on the northern wall of the church (six seated apostles in a Romanesque framing). In 1240 construction of the single-nave church was started. The original chapel was transformed into a choir.

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