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Odessa Sights

German Protestant Church

Description

After the signing of the peace treaty between Russia and Turkey in 1775, Russia reclaimed the Crimea and the Black Sea coast of modern Ukraine, and Alexander the 1st invited German colonists to inhabit empty lands of the south of New Russia. This is how many Lutherans appeared in the young town and the area. As a result, in 1803-1804 governor duke de Richelieu had to ask the emperor to send a pastor to Odessa.

The laying of the Lutheran church foundation happened in 1824. The architect was F.Boffo. However, the project failed. The unfinished belfry and 10 columns of the facade collapsed. Other architects had to take over, and in 1827 St.Paul’s Church was consecrated. It looked quite simple, built in an austere classic style with a small tower over the altar part.

The church was completely rebuilt in 1895 through 1897 by German architect H.Scheurembrandt. The outside and interior changed a lot. The architect gave the church Roman features like German churches. The 50 m belfry became the tallest installation in Odessa for that time.

St.Paul’s church was closed down by Soviet authorities. During the Romanian German occupation of Odessa in 1941-1944 the church came alive but was closed down again after the war. It was turned to a concert hall (or a gym, according to other sources). It is notable that a bathroom was built instead of the altar. In 1976 a fire destroyed the church. For many years the grand ruins towered above the town and rumor had it that the building was unrebuildable. Yet the temple reopened in 2010 after 5 years of repair that cost ˆ7,000,000.


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The Odessites call the church "Kirkhah" (Kirche means a church in German).

Location

Downtown.

Street Address

68 Novoselskovo Street, 65023 Odessa, Ukraine.

Geographical Positions

E30°43'27" N46°28'59" (E30.724167° N46.483056°).

Map

Last Update

2013.04.27.

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