St. James's Cathedral

Riga, Latvia

St. James's Cathedral, or the Cathedral Basilica of St. James is dedicated to Saint James the Greater. It is frequently referred to by the name St. Jacob because Latvian, like many other languages, uses the same name for James and Jacob.

The church building was dedicated in 1225. It was not originally a cathedral since the Rīgas Doms served that function. At the beginning of the 15th century the Holy Cross Chapel was built at the south end of the early Gothic church, and part of the church was transformed into a basilica. In 1522 during the Protestant Reformation the building became the second German language Lutheran church in Riga. In 1523 it became the first Latvian language Lutheran church there.

In 1582 it was given to the Jesuits as part of the Counter-Reformation when Stephen Báthory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth gained control of Riga. In 1621 it was given back to the Lutherans after Gustav II Adolf of Sweden occupied Riga. At various times it served as a Swedish language, German language, or Estonian language Lutheran church. In 1812 it was used as a food storehouse by Napoleon's troops.

In 1901 the oldest Baroque altar in Riga from 1680 was replaced by a new one. Following a referendum in 1923, the building was given back to the Catholics for use as their cathedral since the Rīgas Doms was now an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral.

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Address

Mazā Pils iela 4, Riga, Latvia
See all sites in Riga

Details

Founded: 1225
Category: Religious sites in Latvia
Historical period: State of the Teutonic Order (Latvia)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

JISMON JOSEPH (3 years ago)
Good peaceful place to spend your free times
Francisco Rios (3 years ago)
Beautiful. Its cupole can be seen from all Riga
Reinis Bērziņš (4 years ago)
One of the oldest churches with a unique outside-tower placed bell.
Marsu Marsu (5 years ago)
Incredible .went there today and assist a chorale training .just pure beauty and clearly those guys were not cheating!
Kateryna Kyselova (5 years ago)
Nice cathedral. Worth seeing.
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