Valjala church

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Valjala church is probably the oldest stone church in Estonia, its construction began around 1230, possibly right after Saaremaa had been defeated, in 1227.

Western portal of the church

Initially, it was built in Romanesque style, later stages were in Gothic style. At first, the sacristy and an initial chapel were built, which were significantly upgraded already in 1240-60: a nave with three bays was added. The church also obtained its defence function around that time. It was further fortified in the 1360s, when the side portals and the lower sections of the windows were walled up. The tower was built probably in the XVII century, later works have mainly been related to the interior. From 1989 on, the building has been renovated few times, last time in 2004.

Image source: A.Pajur, A. Kriiska, A. Tvauri, A. Selart, B. Kibal, A. Andersen "Eesti Ajaloo Atlas" Avita 2006

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