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The Pühtitsa Convent of the Tallinn Diocese was formed in 1891. “Pühtitsa” is Estonian for a “holy place”.  According to the early 16th century Syrenets Chronicle, a miracle was witnessed in these parts over four hundred years ago.  In 1888 a nun from the Kostroma Convent was sent to the town of Jõhvi to establish a convent on Mount Pühtitsa.  There are six churches in the convent.  Since 1968, Mother Varvara (Trofimova) has been the convent’s Mother Superior. The convent is a very beautiful and serene place and is located at Kuremäe, Estonia.


There is an interesting personal story behind this ceramic egg. 

My Narva relatives took my daughter and I to the Pühtitsa convent in eastern part of Estonia.  This is a Russian convent where the faithful visit for prayer and to wash in the holy waters that flow from the local spring.

My relatives, who have connections to the convent, introduced us to the convent’s Varvara (Mother Superior).  Varvara asked me if she could take my teenage daughter to the convent church.  My relatives told me that Varvara wanted to bless my daughter.  After about half an hour they returned and Varvara gave the gift of this decorated ceramic egg, that was made by the nuns of the convent, as a gift to our family.  Afterwards, we went to the spring to drink some of the holy water.  There, we listened to a very young Russian girl, perhaps eight, sing religious songs for us.

My relatives, like many of the devotees visiting the convent, gathered up plastic containers of

spring water to take back home.  A very moving experience. 

Herman Fortress, is located in Narva, Estonia, not far the Pühtitsa Convent.  The fortress was built by the Danes sometime in the 14th Century. The fortress faces the Russian fortress of Ivangorod across the Narva River.  The Herman Fortress was substantially destroyed during the Red Army’s invasion of Estonia in 1944.  It has been totally rebuilt.

The fortress serves now as a multi-story historical museum focusing on the history of Narva.  It is quite impressive and well worth a trip from Tallinn.

Saint Alexander Nesvky at the entrance to the church.


Hermann Fortress on the left and Russian Ivangorod Fortress across the Narva River on the right.

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