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Estonian church on stamp

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Eesti Post has issued a stamp featuring one of the oldest West-Estonian churches - Margaret's of Karuse. It was built in the third quarter of the 13th century as a fortified church next to a trade route passing from Saaremaa to North Estonia.

Master of the Order Otto von Luttenberg, who fell in a battle against the Lithuanians on the Suur vain (Moon Sund) ice near Karuse in 1270, is believed to have been the builder of the church and is probably buried in it.

St Margaret's of Karuse is a nave-only church with Romance and early Gothic influences. Its oldest part is the choir, which is narrower and lower than the rest of the building. The interior features a Baroque pulpit by the famous German woodcarver, Christian Ackermann (1697), a 16th century chandelier and a late 18th century altar. The altarpiece is an 1888 copy of an Albert Durer's motif by B. Baggern. There are some 13th century grave slabs and stone crosses in the churchyard. In 1642 Fr. W. Hasselblatt, then Karuse minister, opened the first lending library of books in Estonian there.

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