The Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas of the Estuary is located in surrendered Karelia. It was the main church of the former Suistamo Orthodox parish. The church was inaugurated on May 17, 1844, and has been designed by Carl Ludvig Engel.
The project to build Suistamo's St. Nikolaos Church was started in 1828, when Suistamo's priest Feodot Lvov wrote to the Spiritual Board of Finland about the dilapidated state of Suistamo's churches. The Spiritual Government of Finland ordered a public meeting to be held in Suistamo regarding the construction of a church. The Holy Governing Synod had also given permission to build the church in 1831, and the building drawings of the church had been drawn up in the Intendant's office. However, construction work could not be started, because the drawings of the church were lost.
The length of the church was 34 m, the width 20 m at the cross-section and 10 m at the trunk.
In 1834, it was assumed that the original drawings had remained in the possession of the former church warden, but two years later the governor of the Vyborg county wrote that the drawings and the cost estimate had remained in the office of the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg. The Governor obtained the new drawings from the Intendant's office and the Senate approved the new drawings in 1837.
Carl Ludvig Engel has been considered the designer of the church. The original drawings have not been preserved and only the concept of the drawings can be found in the archive of the construction board, which shows that the drawings and the work cost estimate are dated 23.1.1830 and the signatory is CL Engel. At the bottom of the concept is also the autograph of architect AF Granstedt. At the end of the source references of the memoir published by the Suistamo Pitäjäseura in 1955, there is an addition where it is stated that ?professionals?, including the chief who retired from the construction board, have stated that the drawings were prepared and presented to Engel by the architect Anders Fredrik Granstedt. Engel, as the head of Intendent's office, has approved and confirmed them with his signature. The author of the original drawings was thus most obviously the architect Granstedt.
The church was in the shape of a cross. There was a bell tower at the west end, the lower part of which was not marked with any windows in the drawings. However, the finished church had a false window on both the south and north sides. In the central part of the tower on the south, north and west sides, there was a semicircular window with lattices. At the belfry, the tower was surrounded by a roof eaves. The bell-ringing openings ending in the arch were open and equipped with railings with decorative profiled balustrades. The curved octagonal roof of the tower ended in a cross.
Sources: Multimedia program The Story of Golden Domes, Iisalmi Evakkokeskus. History of Suistamo Parish, M. Rajamo, Suistamo Parish (1944)