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 (4 months ago)
Good peaceful place to spend your free times
Francisco Rios (12 months ago)
Beautiful. Its cupole can be seen from all Riga
Reinis Bērziņš (2 years ago)
One of the oldest churches with a unique outside-tower placed bell.
Marsu Marsu (3 years ago)
Incredible .went there today and assist a chorale training .just pure beauty and clearly those guys were not cheating!
Kateryna Kyselova (3 years ago)
Nice cathedral. Worth seeing.
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Lübeck Cathedral is a large brick-built Lutheran cathedral in Lübeck, Germany and part of the Lübeck UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1173 Henry the Lion founded the cathedral to serve the Diocese of Lübeck, after the transfer in 1160 of the bishop's seat from Oldenburg in Holstein under bishop Gerold. The then Romanesque cathedral was completed around 1230, but between 1266 and 1335 it was converted into a Gothic-style building with side-aisles raised to the same height as the main aisle.

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The cathedral is unique in that at 105 m, it is shorter than the tallest church in the city. This is the consequence of a power struggle between the church and the guilds.

The 17 m crucifix is the work of the Lübeck artist Bernt Notke. It was commissioned by the bishop of Lübeck, Albert II. Krummendiek, and erected in 1477. The carvings which decorate the rood screen are also by Notke.

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In the funeral chapels of the southern aisle are Baroque-era memorials by the Flemish sculptor Thomas Quellinus.