St. Nicholas Church, a 13th century medieval church, was dedicated to Saint Nicholas, patron saint of the most important professions of that day: those of seafarers, merchants and fishermen. The black cross kept in the church chapel and attracting many pilgrims is depicted on Pärnu's coat of arms. The church was once the dominant landmark of the town's skyline, but was reduced to ruins in 1944, and in 1954 it was blown up in order to make way for the grand Lenin Avenue, today's Pikk Street. Baltic Germans who resettled in Germany in 1939 erected a memorial stone to mark the location of the church that once belonged to the German congregation.
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