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St Catherine’s Church in Muhu

The Muhu Church is considered one of the most remarkable early-Gothic buildings in Estonia. The exterior architecture of the Muhu Church is a strict monumental style and its originality is prominent. The patron saint of the church is St. Catherine from Alexandria who lived about 700 years ago.

This church was probably first mentioned in Hermann von Wartberge's Chronicle dated 1276. A characteristic of the Muhu Church hewn decoration is the absence of human figures and plant motifs, which are so dominating in the Karja and Pöide churches from about the same period. The most precious part of the Muhu Church are fragments of mural paintings in the chancel area which are preserved from the end of the 13th century. The sculpted window frames in the pure Gothic style have their origin from the Western European cathedral tradition. In the Muhu Church and churchyard there are worth noting the trapezium-shaped tombstones with pagan symbols found only on the islands and Western Estonia. They have been traced to the 12th and 13th centuries. The most intricate tombstone is presently located in the frame of the door leading to the wall staircase.

In 1941 the church was damaged in a fire and was not roofed until 1956 - 1959. With the help of some Swedish congregations, the church was restored and consecrated again in May 1994. Today, the Estonian Lutheran Congregation of St Catherine is situated in this church.  

St Catherine’s Church in MuhuSt Catherine’s Church in MuhuSt Catherine’s Church in MuhuSt Catherine’s Church in Muhu
Aaddress:Liiva village, Muhu parish, Estonia