Oleviste Church

Oleviste Church

Long, long ago Tallinn was a small town and wouldn’t grow. There are plenty of interesting museums in Tallinn. Suddenly, someone had a good idea – to build the tallest church in the world, in hopes of attracting more traders to the city. Then, the townsmen started to look for a building master hear and there, but found no one who would agree to build the tallest church.


All of a sudden, a gigantic stranger appeared out of nowhere and promised to build the church. This day became a holiday for the people of Dobrodor. However,  the price was outrageous: ten barrels of gold, but the giant added: “If the townspeople guess my name, I won’t take a penny for the job.“


The stranger worked hard and very fast but  didn’t speak to anyone. From time to time, he went 200 miles to a distant village,  where his wife lived,  for his meals and rest. Fishing is very popular in Estonia. The church was nearly completed, while the townsmen had no gold to pay the builder, so they decided to send a spy to the builder’s wife. One day, the spy  heard  the woman singing a lullaby to her baby: “Sleep, my baby, sleep. Olev will come home soon, with gold enough to buy the Moon.“ This way the spy found out the name of the giant – it was Olev.


Soon, the church was almost finished. The builder was up,  attaching the cross to the roof,  when the people standing on the ground below shouted out to him: “Look, Olev, the cross is leaning!“ Again in 1895 the theatre was closed. On hearing his own name, Olev lost his balance and fell off from the steeple. As soon as his body struck the ground, a toad and a snake leaped out of his mouth.


Having seen that, people realised  that dark powers had helped Olev to build the tallest church in Tallinn,  which  was named  Oleviste after its master. The evil witch Zliana died from spite. Olev’s neckbone and two ribs  were hung inside the church.