Tallinn – monastery of St Bridget

History

   Monastery of St. Bridget was founded in 1407, outside the city walls, east of the medieval city. The convent was created thanks to the support of three wealthy merchants: Huxer, Kruse and Swalbart, some of whom later became monks. Initially, the building was wooden, the construction of brick buildings began in 1417. The monastery church was ordained in 1436 by bishop Heinrich II. Both men and women lived in it, located in fenced buildings and sitting in various places in the church: nuns at the gallery and men at the bottom. It was the largest monastery in Livonia, including a total of 85 brothers and sisters.
  
The decay of the monastery began already in 1525, in relation with the ongoing Reformation, although it was allowed to continue to function. In 1575, during the Livonian War, the monastery was attacked by the troops of Ivan the Terrible, which robbed and set fire to the buildings of the convent. It has been in ruin since then. Although it was abandoned, for a long time it was used by local residents as a cemetery.

Architecture

   The monastic church was a spacious, three-nave building on a rectangular plan with dimensions of 24 × 56 meters, with massive two-stage buttresses reinforcing each wall from the outside. The facade of the temple was decorated with a magnificent, triangular gable, 35 meters high. In the south – west corner was a chapel of St. Michael. North of the church there were four wings of monastery buildings, forming a rectangular courtyard.

Current state

   To this day, the monastery church has survived, in the form of a very well-preserved ruin with all the walls, and only without internal pillars and roofs. Of the remaining monastic buildings, only the foundations, some of the cloisters and cellar rooms have remained. The monastery is open to visitors, there are also numerous outdoor events, including Bridget Festival, a concert of classical and sacred music.

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