|St. Maria-Magdalena orthodox congregation of Haapsalu
The official registration of the Haapsalu orthodox congregation happened on Feb 1st, 1836.
In 1845 the building of a church on the Promenade started. The foundations of the church were built using donations, but then the building work stopped until 1851. The necessary amount of money for the completion of the church came in the end from the state by the decision of the Holy Synod.
The church was consecrated on July, 21st, 1852. The consecration ceremony was attended by the czarina Aleksandra Fjodorovna. At her request the church was consecrated as st. Maria-Magdalena church.
In 1896 a burial-chapel on the Haapsalu old grave-yard was completed and it was consecrated in honour of holy Aleksander of Neva. After some years the chapel was built into an assisting church. Many Russian aristocrats and cultural activists, who spent their summers in Haapsalu, gave donations to the building. A big contributor was a businessman and owner of gold-mines – Aleksei Wekshin, who donated icons to the church and money for the building of the Aleksander Nevski Church.
Until 1961, the soviets allowed the use of both church buildings, but then the order came to close down the assisting church. The building stood empty for three years.
In 1964 the soviet power gave an order to the congregation to move out of the Maria-Magdalena Church. On the grounds of the application the congregation was allowed to start using the assistant church again.
But the fate of the Maria Magdalena church was the same as many other holy buildings in Soviet Union – the empty building was used as a depot for the electricity supplies of the town.
The New start
The congregation started again in 1995, when the church on the Promenade was returned to the Maria-Magdaleena congregation.
The building was used together with the congregation of the Seventh Day Adventists, who had used the church since 1985.
Step by step church started to have a traditional orthodox look. From September 1st, 2001 the congregation of the adventists moved into their new house on Endla street.
Besides the church-building, the congregation has two houses on Linda street, which function as the priests home and a guest-house for the congregation. One of the houses is more known as Wikland House, as the world famous aritst Ilon Wikland spent her childhood there.
You can find more information and pictures about the congregation on our homepage: www.maria-magdaleena.net