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.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

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

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Iñigo Calonge (2 years ago)
The best place I have seen in all my travels around Baltic. It's wonderful every corner you can visit and you can take very nice pictures from the 4 different facades. Is a must if you visit the country. Don't forget it or you'll miss one of the just wonderful building in this city. In Riga it's my favourite place to see it. I take a hostel not far from it. Sire you will love it.
Tim Michael Vesper (2 years ago)
Not really worth the money for visiting the tower imho.. The view is great but it is really expensive and there are better and cheaper viewing platforms in Riga
Yury Ramanousky (3 years ago)
The view up there is just amazing. Cost is 9 euros for adult and totally worth it. Not so much interesting in church itself.
Royal Agamirzadeh (3 years ago)
It was incredible nice experience. Climbing upstairs with an elevator is highly recommended. Staff was super kind and helpful
Arthur H (3 years ago)
Amazing view above all Riga ! It's a must see if you visit this city. So nice !
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Holy Trinity Column

The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way. The column is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

The column is dominated by gilded copper sculptures of the Holy Trinity accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel on the top and the Assumption of the Virgin beneath it.

The base of the column, in three levels, is surrounded by 18 more stone sculptures of saints and 14 reliefs in elaborate cartouches. At the uppermost stage are saints connected with Jesus’ earth life – his mother’s parents St. Anne and St. Joachim, his foster-father St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist, who was preparing his coming – who are accompanied by St. Lawrence and St. Jerome, saints to whom the chapel in the Olomouc town hall was dedicated. Three reliefs represent the Three theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love.

Below them, the second stage is dedicated to Moravian saints St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who came to Great Moravia to spread Christianity in 863, St. Blaise, in whose name one of the main Olomouc churches is consecrated, and patrons of neighbouring Bohemia St. Adalbert of Prague and St. John of Nepomuk, whose following was very strong there as well.

In the lowest stage one can see the figures of an Austrian patron St. Maurice and a Bohemian patron St. Wenceslas, in whose names two important Olomouc churches were consecrated, another Austrian patron St. Florian, who was also viewed as a protector against various disasters, especially fire, St. John of Capistrano, who used to preach in Olomouc, St. Anthony of Padua, a member of the Franciscan Order, which owned an important monastery in Olomouc, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of students. His sculpture showed that Olomouc was very proud of its university. Reliefs of all twelve apostles are placed among these sculptures.

The column also houses a small chapel inside with reliefs depicting Cain's offering from his crop, Abel's offering of firstlings of his flock, Noah's first burnt offering after the Flood, Abraham's offering of Isaac and of a lamb, and Jesus' death. The cities of Jerusalem and Olomouc can be seen in the background of the last mentioned relief.