Liiva (Muhu) – St Catherine’s Church

History

   Church of St. Catherine in Muhu was probably built in the middle of the 13th century, in place of an earlier wooden church. The first written mention of the church dates from 1267. During its history it was damaged many times, including in 1640 and during the Great Northern War at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1941, it was bombed during a German air raid. The roof was destroyed, which was repaired only in 1958. Unfortunately, it caused irreversible damage to wall paintings in the church. After the restoration of independence by Estonia in 1991, an adequate renovation was carried out with considerable financial assistance from Sweden.

Architecture

   The church was built in several phases. First, rectangular stone walls of the nave were erected, then a square one-bay chancel with a small four-sided apse and a porch on the south side were added. Inside, there are high rib vaults, embedded both over the nave and chancel, and in the southern porch, therefore the perimeter walls from the south and north were reinforced with single buttresses (strengthen again in the early modern period). The interior of the church was covered with colorful polychromes in the Middle Ages, created under the Byzantine influence.

Current state

   Currently, the church in Muhu, despite the destructions in previous centuries, is one of the most splendid early gothic buildings in Estonia, a beautiful example of medieval architecture, not distorted by subsequent interventions and transformations. Inside, you can see, among other things, valuable medieval wall paintings.

show this monument on map

return to alphabetical index

bibliography:
Website Muhu church, St. Katherine´s Church of Muhu.

Website web.archive.org, Muhu Katariina Kogudus.