Tallinn International Organ Festival
Estonian Organ music
Organ of the
St. Nicholas' Church

St. Nicholas` Church (Estonian Niguliste) was founded in the first half of the 13th century, and dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of merchants and seafarers. The building was active as a church until the Second World War. After the fire on 9 March 1944 the building was reconstructed and adjusted to the needs of a MUSEUM-CONCERT HALL. In 1984 it was opened to the public as a subsidiary of the Art Museum of Estonia. The church that has acquired its present looks through different periods of style from early Gothic till the 19th century. It is one of the most remarkable medieval church buildings in Tallinn and in the whole architectural heritage of Estonia.
Several works of art that have historically belonged to St. Nicholas Church have made their way back there, above all the magnificent High Altar by Hermen Rode (1478-1481) and an iconographic rarity, the famous initial fragment of “Dance Macabre” by Bernt Notke (end of 15th century). The exposition also contains other altars of high value: the Altar of St. Mary (by an artist known as the author of the Lucia Legend ca.1500), and the Altar of Christ’s Passion (the workshop of Adriaen Isenbrandt? ca.1510-1520). A panel painting from the late Middle Ages (a master from the Palace of Lichtenstein “Presentation of Christ in the Temple” ca.1430-1440) and several mediaeval polychrome woodcarvings (Henning von der Heide? St. Nicholas, Virgin Mary, John the Evangelist ca. 1510-1520) are represented in the collection. The exposition contains fragments of pews (16-17th century), the figure of St. Christopher (Tobias Heintze, 1624), the hewn epitaph of Antonius van der Busch (Arent Passer, ca.1608), and tombstones and their fragments (14- 17th century). Noteworthy are numerous epitaphs and coats-of-arms (17- 18th century), the grand seven-armed candelabrum (1519), and numerous chandeliers and sconces (16- 18th centuty).
The SILVER CHAMBER OF ST. NICHOLAS CHURCH has been open to the public since November 2001. The museum offers guided tours, and there is a tradition of celebrating St. Nicholas’ Day (6 Dec. and 9 May).
Half-hour organ music concerts take place on Saturdays and Sundays.
The organ was built in 1981 by the Rieger-Kloss company and has 4 manuals, a pedal, 63 registers, and 4711 pipes. Niguliste Museum- Concert Hall is also known as a venue of the Tallinn International Organ Festivals.