St. Matthias’ Church in Harju-Madise

The high belltower of St. Matthias’ Church in Harju-Madise, which was built in the 15th–18th centuries, doubles as a lighthouse for Pakri Bay.

According to a legend, the church was built by a Captain Matthias who was rescued after being shipwrecked. The legend is confirmed by the location of the church – it stands right on the escarpment on the shore, the main door faces the sea, and a carved sun disc, that has been often mistaken for a helm of a ship, stands on the abat-voix of the pulpit (1784).

A memorial to Bengt Gottfried Forselius, who founded Estonian public schools, stands near the church, marking his birth place.

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