Pöide Church (Estonian: Pöide kirik) is located on Saaremaa island, in Pöide Commune, Saare County, Estonia.
The current Pöide Church building is believed to be constructed on the remains of an earlier chapel dating from the 13th century. After the conquest of Saaremaa in 1227, the eastern part of the island belonged to the Livonian Order, who built a fortress at Pöide as their headquarters during the second half of the 13th century. This fortress was destroyed by the Saaremaa natives during the wave of uprisings against the occupying forces that took place in Estonia and Saaremaa during the St.George's Night Uprising of 1343. There was a chapel on the southern side of the fortress, and the walls of this chapel today form the central part of Pöide church.
Owing to its massive form, it is colloquially named the fortress-church.
The building was looted and burnt during World War II and also used as a storage facility. It suffered severe damage in a fire in 1940, when lightning struck the tower. The large crack in the tower from the lightning can still be seen today.
Pöide church has been renovated and reconstructed gradually since 1989. The chancel, stone altar, and vestry have been renovated. The main part of the building (including the nave, roof, and spire) still awaits renovation.
Sent on: July 15, 2016
Received on: July 18, 2016