"St. Olaf's Church (Oleviste Kirik) - ONE" Oleviste-St.Olav's Tip by mightywease
Oleviste-St.Olav's, Tallinn: 40 reviews and 102 photos
The 124m spire of Oleviste Kirik (St. Olaf?s Church) is another recognisable feature on the Tallinn skyline.
The spire used to be taller, 159 metres, and between 1549 and 1625 was the tallest building in the world and provided a beacon to ships far out to sea, an advantage for the maritime port of Tallinn. Legend says that the tower was built by a mysterious stranger who tempted the town elders by telling them he could build the spire higher and faster than anyone else. For this he asked for 10 bags of gold but with the proviso that if the townspeople found out his name before he had completed his work he would forfeit this payment. The elders, thinking that there was no way he could complete the work in the short time the man proposed agreed, thinking their gold was safe. However the man was true to his word and the work sped along, when it appeared that he was going to complete on time the elders did all they could to find out the man?s name. On the last day just as the elders were thinking the gold was lost they heard the man?s wife singing to her baby that soon her husband ?Olev? would return with gifts for them. The elders rushed to the church and just as the man was about to finish the spire they shouted ?Olev? to him upon hearing which he lost his footing and fell to his death. However upon hitting the ground a snake and a toad crawled out of his mouth proving that Olev was, in fact, in league with the devil ? if not the devil himself. However the church still bears the name of the devilish spire builder!
Actually the truth is much more prosaic, the church is named after St. Olaf (King Olaf II of Norway), protector of seafarers. The spire, however, was not without problems ? it has been struck by lightening 8 times and the church has burnt down 3 times, which makes one wonder if the mysterious Olev might be having his revenge.
Address: Pikk 48
Directions: Entrance is on Lai
Tower is only open from April-October
Phone: 621 4421
More Things to Do in Tallinn (23)
More Reviews (11)
mightywease's Related Pages
Have you been to Tallinn?Share Your Travels