Thursday, August 13, 2009

Estonia Church FDCs

Estonia FDCs
Name: 125th Anniversary of the Alexander Church of Narva
Date of Issue: 10 July 2009

The Alexander Church of Narva, architect Otto Pius Hippius's attempt to create an ideal Lutheran church, was built for the needs of the 5,000 Lutheran workers of the Kreenholm Manufactory. The building was completed in 1884 and was named in the honour of Tsar Alexander II who was killed in the explosion of a bomb set by a terrorist. The Joachimstal estate where the church stood was completely destroyed in World War One and only the church remained standing. The Bolsheviks, who then ruled Narva, chose it for their seat of government but unified its territory, including Joachimstal, Narva and Ivangorod, with Estonia. In World War Two the bell tower of the church was blasted and in 1962 under Soviet rule the building was turned into a warehouse. It was returned to the congregation in 1990 and the 60-metre bell tower was restored in 2008. A lift now moves in it. Technosvet of St. Petersburg designed coloured floodlights for the church. The bell, cast in 1900 in Gachina, is decorated with the three leopards guardant passant of the Province of Estonia and a coat of arms with the emperor's crown. The FDC cancel features a 2004 stained glass window by Dolores Hoffmann with the words Mary and Narva worked into its design. In 2000 President Lennart Meri added the epithet Great to the name of the church.

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