Estonia, Dominican Monastery

Estonia, Dominican Monastery

Members of the Dominican order settled in Tallinn in the 13th century. It is known that this order was founded in 1216 by the Spaniard Saint Dominique de Guzman. It is believed that the mother of the founder of the order before the birth of his son had a dream, as if she gave birth to a black and white dog that will light the whole world with a torch. It is for this reason that Dominic appears in the fine arts before us with a torch, accompanied by a dog. Hence the name of the order – “domini canes”, which means “God’s dogs”. The mission of the order was the preaching of the Gospel throughout Europe. In 1246 the Dominicans gained the right to found a monastery in Tallinn.

The place for construction was chosen very carefully and corresponded to the spiritual and material interests of the monks. To expand its influence, soon after the construction, a school was established at the monastery, where Estonian boys were educated in Latin. The most significant building in a typical monastery complex was St. Catherine’s Church, built around the 14th century. At that time, the 68-meter church building was the largest and most noticeable in the whole of Tallinn.

Dominican Monastery

During its existence, the building of the monastery was repeatedly rebuilt and expanded until the 16th century. However, the monastery was seriously damaged during the Lutheran Reformation in 1525, when it was plundered. And in 1531 there was a very strong fire in the building that destroyed the church so much that it became unusable. In 1844, on the site of the monastic refectory, the Church of St. Peter and Paul was built.

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Until now, unfortunately, the whole monastic building has not survived. Today it is possible to preserve the monastery garden and the crossings surrounding it, the chapel, the dormitories, the monastery barn, the chapel, etc. Also partially preserved is the church of St. Catherine

Today in the monastery buildings there is a museum, as well as works of medieval Tallinn stone-cutters. It is possible to book a tour of the monastery. In summer days, in the courtyard covered with ivy, concerts, various programs, theatrical performances are often held. In the basement there is an “energy column”. It is believed that leaning against him, you can draw physical and spiritual strength.

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