Christmas in Tallinn, Estonia 2013
St Olav's Church
St. Olaf’s Church or St. Olav's Church (Estonian: Oleviste kirik) in Tallinn, Estonia, is believed to have been built in the 12th century and to have been the centre for old Tallinn's Scandinavian community before Denmark conquered Tallinn in 1219. Its dedication relates to King Olaf II of Norway (a.k.a. Saint Olaf, 995-1030). The first known written records referring to the church date back to 1267, and it was extensively rebuilt during the 14th century. In origin, St Olaf's was part of the united western tradition of Christianity, whose polity continues in the Roman Catholic Church today. However, from the time of the Reformation the church has been part of the Lutheran tradition. Eventually proving surplus to the requirements of the Lutheran Church in Tallinn, St Olaf's became a Baptist church in 1950. The Baptist congregation continues to meet at St Olaf's today. From 1944 until 1991, the Soviet KGB used Oleviste's spire as a radio tower and surveillance point. In 1590, the total height of the church tower was 115-125 m. (reputedly the highest building in the world at this time) The tower has been hit by lightning around ten times, and the whole church has burned down three times throughout its known existence. Following several rebuildings, its overall height is now 123.7 meters.