Die Gewölbekomposition der Kirche in Luggenhusen/Lüganuse


  • Kaur Alttoa




Medieval architecture, North Estonia, parish church, master masons from Tallinn


Most of the parish churches built in North-Estonia during the 14th century
are simple rectangular buildings without vaults and sanctuary. This was probably an expression of Dominican ideology. These churches were
subsequently vaulted in the 15th century by Tallinn’s master builders.
The story of the Lüganuse Church’s development is similar. Due to the
width of the nave, it was built into a double-nave church. In the 17th
century, the vaults were destroyed and today only a small fragment of
the transverse arch survives on the western wall.
When the vaults were built in the church, buttresses were also built.
On the eastern side, at first glance, their placement seems strange – there
are none on the corners of the building. The buttresses were built
where the lateral pressure was the greatest. It is possible that the vault
composition in Lüganuse was identical to the one in the Keila Church
(vaulted in 1489), where a triangular bay was constructed in front of the
sanctuary in the eastern part of the nave. This composition would have
significantly reduced the load on the chancel arch. Current literature dates
the vaulting of the Lüganuse Church back to the first quarter of the
15th century. But apparently, the reconstruction of the church started
considerably later – possibly not until the last decades of the 15th century.


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Author Biography

Kaur Alttoa

Kaur Alttoa has been a long-time scholar and teacher of art history at the University of Tartu and he is one of the foremost specialists of the history of medieval architecture in the Baltic region. His objects of interest
have included both medieval fortresses and sacral buildings. Among his major contributions stands out the restoration and study of the St. John´s Church in Tartu, which was also published as a monograph in 2011.




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