Церковь Святого Петра в Колпанах (лютеранская кирха)

The Evangelical Lutheran church of Kolpany

St. Peter’s Church

Russian Cultural Heritage Site

Architectural style:
Gothic, Classicism

Andreyan Zakharov


The Kolpany (Kolppana) parish is first mentioned in records in 1640, and it is considered to be one of the oldest parishes in historical Ingria. The region of Gatchina manor with all the Ingrian Finnish population was part of the Kolpany parish.

The first church was wooden. A second building was made of stone in 1800 and could seat 680 people. The Gothic church was built of the Pudost stone. Architect Andreyan Zakharov joined the project during the construction and added significant changes to the appearance of the church. A sacristy with a separate entrance and a 22 meter-high bell tower crowned with a pointed spire and a figure of a rooster on a ball were added to the church’s design. For that reason the folk name of a church is a Rooster Church (Kakkokirkko in Finnish). This bird being a symbol of awakening reminds us of Peter’s denial and repentance.

In 1917, the parish counted 2544 members. In addition to the Ingrian Finns, there were also Estonians among the parishioners.

In 1929, the spire was brought down by tractor, as the new authorities considered it to interfere with the Red military aircraft maneuvers.

The last senior pastor Iisakki Virronen was arrested in 1937 and shot in 1939. In december 1938 the church was closed and repurposed into a granary. In the end of August – beginning of September 1941, the church housed an observation post for the Red Army artillery.
During German occupation in 1942-1943 worship continued, though without communion. During the Second World War, the building was barely damaged from shelling: the only missile hit the bell tower.
After the liberation of Gatchina and Kolpany from the German troops, the church was closed again.
In 1949, the building was transferred to a construction artel, that later developed into a metal foundry named Avangard (Avant-garde).

Rebirth of the parish started in 1989. On the Christmas Eve of 1991 the church of St. Peter celebrated its first worship.

Present days:

Currently the parish is a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria and is in the West Ingrian provost. The parish holds regular worship, Bible studies, and subbotniks (regular clean-up events at the surrounding territory). In 2018 the church building suffered from an explosion on the metal foundry. The repair work is still ongoing.