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Dutch And Reformed In St. Petersburg

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Chapter Summary

St. Petersburg has been called by Alexander Pushkin the "window to Europe" and it was Tsar Peter the Great (1672-1725) who opened it. The Dutch were the first to feel the need to hold their services in their own language and according to their own Reformed belief. On Wednesday November 20, 1717, W. Tolle commenced his office as minister of the Dutch community. This date is observed as the beginning of the Dutch church in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg turned out to be an excellent market, and more and more merchants left Vriezenveen to make the trip to St. Petersburg. They were known among those who stayed behind in Vriezenveen by the Dutch term Rusluie ("Russian folk"). The increasing welfare of the parish from the end of the eighteenth century onwards is reflected in the history of the church itself.

Keywords: Alexander Pushkin; Dutch church; reformed church; Russian folk; St. Petersburg



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