Kadrina – St Catherine’s Church


   The church in Kadrina (the original name is Tõrvestevere, or the German Tristfer) was built in the third quarter of the fifteenth century. Not much later, because at the turn of the 15th / 16th century, a tower was added. However, the spire was completed only in 1684, during the renovation of the roof. The church was severely damaged by fire, during the Russian invasion in 1702, fortunately some of the equipment was saved. The population of the parish tried to rebuild the temple as soon as possible, a temporary wooden roof was created so that the liturgy could be performed. A thorough renovation of the church was made in 1741 – 1752, when the north porch was also added. Restored in 1922, the church fell victim to catastrophic fire and looting during the retreat of the Soviets in 1941. The spire, roof and sacristy were burned, but the fire inside the nave was fortunately extinguished. In 1960, the spire was restored and the roof of the shingles was replaced with tin.


   The original church was created as a simple, towerless, aisleless building on a rectangular plan with a quadrangular, vaulted chancel on the eastern side. The nave initially had only a flat ceiling. During the Gothic reconstruction of the end of the fifteenth century, the church was transformed into a three-aisle, the whole was vaulted and the sacristy was added. Apparently at the same time, buttresses were added to provide walls with external support. Apart from the sacral function, the church was also supposed to serve as a defensive building. This is suggested initially by tall and narrow windows, which unfortunately were later enlarged. Thick, solid walls and rooms above the vaults made it possible to use the building as a shelter or a weapon warehouse. The last medieval element was the tower, built on the west side of the church, partially embedded in the nave.

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