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picture News August, 18 2022
image: Eleven Years Later Eleven Years Later

On 25 August 2007, SCCE made a cruise to Naissaar (Nargö) in the Tallinn Bay. At that time, St. Mary's Chapel on the island had got a new roof and restorations were slowly but safely going on. On Sunday 19 August 2018, eleven years later, the Chapel got reconsecrated in the presence of Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria, her husband Prince Daniel and Estonia’s President Kersti Kaljulaid and her husband Georgi-Rene Maksimovski.

Up until World War I, Naissaar was mainly a Swedish-speaking society. As the island is located quite close to Tallinn, more and more Estonians moved in during the times of the first Estonian Republic and the Swedish-speaking population decreased. The names on the graves at the island’s cemetery still remind visitors of Naissar’s Estonian-Swedish history.

As the Soviet occupation became a tragic fact, Naissaar was declared as a military area. The inhabitants were forced to leave and the island was off-limits for civilians. When the last Russian troops left Estonia and Naissaar in 1994, St. Mary’s Chapel was in a bad shape. The Chapel’s metal roof had been put down and used for fabricating dummy missiles, all of them afterwards placed on the island. A somewhat provisional roof was put in its place and the Chapel was used for, among other things, sport activities by the Soviet military personnel.

As SCCE visited Naissaar in 2007, it was still very visible that St. Mary’s Chapel had been used for activities not being connected with those of a Chapel. Today, renovations are still ongoing but as the Chapel is now reconsecrated it will indeed be used as a Chapel.


Crown Princess Victoria’s and Prince Daniel’s visit was part of Sweden taking part in the celebrations of Estonia’s Centennial Jubilee this year. Following the reconsecration ceremony on Naissaar, the Royal Couple visited the Estonia 100 singing event at Tallinn’s Song Festival Grounds together with President Kaljulaid and Estonia’s Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

- It was a good day at work, said Ambassador Anders Ljunggren as he summarized this Sunday 19 August, which also marked one of his last public official appearances in Estonia.

Sweden’s new Ambassador to Estonia, Mikael Eriksson, will take office on 1 September and SCCE’s members have the opportunity to meet and greet him at SCCE’s Kräftskiva/Crayfish Party on 6 September and at the Valvaka/Election Night at the Embassy of Sweden on 9 September.


Kristiina Sikk - SCCE Ombudsman


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· 11 years later

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