This Russian Orthodox church on Old Town's Suur-Kloostri street features a rich interior and a complex history.
The first building on this site was probably a chapel erected in 1219 to honour the Danish victory over the Estonians. That battle, according to legend, gave the Danes their flag, the Danneborg.
Nearby, the second of Tallinn's two medieval convents - St. Michael's Cistercian Nunnery - was established. The nunnery continued to operate for about a century after the Reformation and was finally closed in 1629. The church rooms were then used by Estonia's first grade school (present day Gustav Adolf Gymnasium) and by Tallinn's first printing house. Later they were turned into a Swedish garrison, which became a Russian garrison after the Great Northern War. That garrison was rebuilt, with the help of architect A. Melnikov, as the Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in 1732.
The present spire with its Baroque helmet was added in 1776. This church is also home to what is now the oldest church bell in town, designed by Matthias Beninck in 1575). Its magnificent, Baroque iconostasis differs from those of other Orthodox churches in that there is a pulpit at its centre.