We are not competent to write a scientific overview of the history of the church and due to that we rely on sources available in the Internet, disclosing the history bit by bit to the people interested. The following fragments from history characterise the bitter human relationships the church had to witness. Hopefully, we learn from them and we will do better in the future.
The search word “Pöide St. Mary’s Church” gives thousands of results. Hereby three references are presented.
The church was built by people and some of them were depicted on the walls of the church to thank them. These sculptures are known to be the first pieces of art depicting islanders. Probably they were some outstanding leaders. The last war changed their faces. The above-presented reference to the web page of Histrodamus gives you an idea what they might have looked like.
The tower of Pöide Church was so high that was seen in Virtsu. On August 6, 1940, the lightning struck into the tower and it burnt down causing a lot of damage also to the roof.
According to Albert Aav, who witnessed the scene, after the thunder strike a thin column of smoke started to rise slowly from the tower, but after 15 minutes open flames burst out. To tell the truth after that incident the church did not do well any more. Many people know that it was the day when Estonian joined the fraternal people of the Soviet Union lead by comrade Stalin. The photo of the church is from the web page of Pöide Rural Municipality.
Church overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_MOjxC7N5I&feature=youtu.be
On the northern side of the church remains of the fortress that once belonged to the Order are found. It is known that during St. George’s Night Uprising in 1343 the islanders demolished the fortress. The author of the main plan of Pöide Fortress and the initial church published in 1891 was Jean Baptiste Holzmayer.
Ordulinnuse plaan. Saaremaa Museum Photo archive.
According to the Livonian Chronicle (“Liivimaa noorema riimkroonika”) islanders besieged the Pöide Fortress for eight days because they knew that no backup was coming to the ones besieged. Pöide bailiff Arnold realised that it was not possible to defend the fortress and surrendered because the rebels promised them that they could leave the fortress. Nevertheless, the rebels did not keep their word and killed the knights who left the fortress and other Germans, who had sought for protection in it. Legends say that the leaders of islanders had said that no one dies by sword. In a way they kept their word because the Germans were killed by stones.