Tourist Attraction in Tallinn: Niguliste Kirik Museum
The church of St. Nicholas or even Basilica of St. Nicholas is a medieval church in Tallinn, located in the heart of the old town about 50 meters south of the square of the old town hall. It is dedicated to St. Nicholas, patron saint of sailors, fishermen and children. The original church building dates back to the 13th century but was partially destroyed by the Soviets in attacking the city in 1944 during World War II. After its restoration it is mainly used as a museum of art (Niguliste Museum) and as a concert hall. The church was founded and built around 1230 - 1275 by merchants from Westphalia from Gotland in the 13th century. While the city was not yet fortified, the church had heavy bars to close and reinforce revenue, there were hiding places and escape loopholes for refugees. When the fortified walls around the city of Tallinn were completed in the 14th century, the Church of St. Nicholas lost its defensive function and became a typical medieval parish church. There are only a few parts of the original church that have been preserved to the present. Between 1405 and 1420 the building came to its present appearance, when the central nave was raised against the lateral ones and the church was redesigned as a great basilica. In 1515 the tower was elevated and covered by a late gothic style spire. At the end of the seventeenth century the tower was reinforced and secured. The spire was replaced with a Baroque style accompanied by ariose slits, which became increasingly high in phase over the centuries. The tower now has a height of about 105 meters. The church of St. Nicholas was the only church in Tallinn that was not affected by the iconoclast brought by Protestant reform in 1523 (or 1524). The head of the congregation poured molten lead into the locks of the church and the impassable hordes could not enter. After the restoration, the church was again inaugurated in 1984 as a concert hall and museum where the medieval art collection is part of the Estonian artistic and museum heritage. The most famous art masterpiece in the church is the painting of the macabre dance (Bernt Notke), a painting teacher, German of Lübeck, representing the transience of life, with the skeletal figures of Death, dancing to the sound of a bagpipes, take in the hand both the rich and powerful subject, the weak and the poor, inextricably linked to one end. Only a fragment of the entire original work that was initially thirty meters long at the end of the fifteenth century can be seen today. The main altar of the church of St. Nicholas was built between 1478 and 1481 by a work by Herman Rode, master of Lübeck. In the painting on the outermost part of this altar, featuring double wings, describes the life of St. Nicholas, while the central part, with its innermost wings deployed, exposes over thirty wooden sculptures depicting the so-called Saints' gallery. The exhibition also contains the Altar of Santa Maria since 1500; Santa Kin from 1490, made in the studio of Jan Borman in Brussels; The Passion of Christ that was conceived at the beginning of the sixteenth century by Adrian Isenbrandt, Flemish Bruges master of the Black Guild Brotherhood, and was completed by Michel Sittow, Estonian artist of Tallinn.