Suure Jaani – St John’s Church


Church of St. John in Suure Jaani was founded before 1300 and is the oldest temple in the province of Viljandi. During the Livonian War, it was destroyed and remained in ruins until 1613. During the reconstruction the walls of the temple were raised, wooden vaults were erected and one floor was added to the tower. The Great Northern War in 1703 brought further destructions. The building was completely restored only in 1767.


The church is a three-nave, hall structure, with a nave corpus on a rectangular plan and a shorter and narrower chancel ending in a straight wall. On the western side there is a towering tower. The side windows were originally narrow and lancet, later they were slightly enlarged. The original, medieval church was also slightly lower and the tower was devoid of the last floor.

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