The Background

In Saaremaa, at Pöide you can find a 13th century stone church, which is the biggest church located outside urban regions and one of the oldest preserved buildings in Estonia altogether, creating a bond between different generations in its peculiar way.

Massive and majestic, but unfortunate and neglected – it has been standing for decades waiting for better times. Meanwhile even hope seemed to vanish, but while standing actually in the middle of nowhere from the point of view of today’s life, it deserves better future due to its rich and mostly undiscovered history, fantastic acoustics, hundreds or even thousands of annual summer guests.
Why do we talk about it so much lately when there are so many neglected churches, schools and culture houses in our country? Because it is one of the oldest of the three construction in Estonia still standing, may be it is even the oldest. As it dates back to the 13th century, the people who placed stones in its foundation probably even saw the ancient time of freedom in Estonia.

The number of members in the congregation is 30 and is evidently too modest to keep this respectable building, which may accommodate about a thousand listeners. Due to that at the beginning of 2012 the congregation of Pöide St. Mary’s Church and Pöide Rural Municipality decided to establish a foundation, which aim was to preserve Pöide Church for the next generations as a church, a historical and cultural monument.

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