The Orthodox church of Tampere was built in Russian romantic style, with onion style cupolas, and was ready in 1896. The architect of the Russian army, T.U. Jasikov, drew the floor plan. The church was consecrated in 1899 to Saint Alexander Nevsky, a Novgorodian who in 1240 fought against the Catholic Swedes and two years later the Catholic Teutonic Knights with equal success, and was accordingly canoniced for these nationalistic but bloody deeds. Emperor Nicholas II donated the bells to this church. The church suffered heavily during the Finnish civil war in 1918; its reconstruction took many years. After Finland declared its independence, it was re-consecrated to St. Nicholas, a less belligerent saint.