St. Peter's Church

Riga, Latvia

First record of the St. Peter's Church dates back to 1209. The church was a masonry construction and therefore undamaged by a city fire in Riga that year. The history of the church can be divided into three distinct periods: two associated with Gothic and Romanesque building styles, the third with the early Baroque period. The middle section of the church was built during the 13th century, which encompasses the first period. The only remnants of this period are located in the outer nave walls and on the inside of a few pillars in the nave, around which larger pillars were later built.

The second period dates to 15th century, when master builders Johannes Rumeschottel from Rostock supervised the construction of the sanctuary, based on the St. Mary's Church in Rostock. The old bell tower was replaced in 1456, and a bell was hung in the new tower in 1477. A 136 metres (446 ft) octagonal steeple was added to the tower in 1491, which, along with the church's front facade, dominated the silhouette of Riga. The tower collapsed 11 March 1666, destroying a neighboring building and burying eight people in the rubble.

Three identical portals by Bindenshu and Andreas Peterman were added in 1692. The third period of construction dates to 1671–90. The newly renovated church served for a mere 29 years, for lightning struck and set fire to the tower and church 10 May 1721. Only the church and tower walls remained standing after the fire. Reconstruction of the church began immediately under the direction of the master carpenter Tom Bochum and master mason Kristofer Meinert. By 1723 the building already had a temporary roof. Johann Heinrich Wilbern took over supervision of the project in 1740, and under his direction a new 69.6 metres steeple was built in 1746.

The church burned down 29 June 1941. Conservation and restoration began 1954 with research by architect Pēteris Saulītis. The work was carried out from 1967 to 1983 under the direction of Saulītis and architect Gunārs Zirnis. The St. Peter's Latvian Lutheran congregation resumed services in the church 1991, and the church was returned to the ownership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia on 4 April 2006.



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Founded: 1209
Category: Religious sites in Latvia
Historical period: State of the Teutonic Order (Latvia)


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kyle Fields (6 months ago)
Beautiful visit. A lot of history posted, which is different than many cathedrals and churches I've visited. The observation deck is beautiful. Worth the payment.
Vojta Netrh (7 months ago)
Nice view on the historic town of Riga. You cam buy tickets to only the church or for church and the tower, i definitely recommend the second option. You can try the night (or late evening) opening hours for the view in the dark with light on, definitely interesting and different point of view.
Maria K (8 months ago)
St. Peter’s church is the top attraction in Old Riga, in my opinion. Ticket to see the church only is €3 while tower & church ticket is €9. The church is very old and dates back to 1209. It had been reconstructed many times due to its partial or major destruction caused by fire, lightning and war. The church exhibits remnants of the old basilica and bits of history lies on the ground and around the church. The church is beautiful. The candelabrum of the church is gigantic and impressive. It stands 310 meters high & 378 meters wide. It was taken to Poland by the German nazis during that period in time, WW2, but was returned to Riga in 2012 as a result of an agreement on the repatriation of cultural properties. There are boards around the church with tons of information which can take hours to read. The tower is the highlight of the tour. It offers a clear 360-degree view of the city. No wires or steel to block the view. The elevator is located on the third floor. It’s an absolutely amazing experience.
Rose Peterson (8 months ago)
St. Peter's Church is a must-see for any visitor to Riga. The church itself is a beautiful example of medieval architecture, but the real draw is the observation deck at the top of the tower. From the deck, you can enjoy stunning 360-degree views of the city and its surroundings. On the first level of the church, there are posters that tell the story of Riga's history with Christianity and notable figures. This is a great way to learn more about the city's culture and heritage before heading up to the observation deck.
Daniel Beckwith (10 months ago)
Review for St. Peter's Church, Riga: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ St. Peter's Church in Riga is an epitome of architectural splendor and spiritual tranquility. I fell deeply in love with this iconic beauty – having it grace the view outside my window was the absolute highlight of my trip. There's an ineffable energy radiating from this majestic structure, beckoning visitors with its allure. It truly stands as the centerpiece, the cherry on top of the cake, in this already enchanting city. As an international remote personal trainer and life coach, I'm inspired by such masterpieces that echo dedication and grandeur. Just as this church is an emblem of Riga's charm, I'm here to help individuals become the best version of themselves, both physically and mentally. If you're seeking to align your spirit with the majesty of life's wonders, don't hesitate to reach out and don't hesitate to visit St. Peter's Church if your in old town Riga ?????
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