Nativity of Christ Cathedral

Riga, Latvia

The Nativity of Christ Cathedral (Kristus Piedzimšanas pareizticīgo katedrāle) was built to a design by Nikolai Chagin in a Neo-Byzantine style between 1876 and 1883, during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire. It is the largest Orthodox cathedral in the Baltic provinces built with the blessing of the Russian Tsar Alexander II on the initiative of local governor-general Pyotr Bagration and bishop Veniamin Karelin. The Nativity of Christ Cathedral is renowned for its icons, some of which were painted by Vasili Vereshchagin.

During the First World War German troops occupied Riga and turned its largest Russian Orthodox cathedral into a Lutheran church. In independent Latvia the Nativity of Christ Cathedral once again became an Orthodox cathedral in 1921. Archbishop Jānis Pommers, a native Latvian, played a key part in the defence of the cathedral. In the early 1960s Soviet authorities closed down the cathedral and converted its building into a planetarium. The cathedral has been restored since Latvia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

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Address

Brīvības iela, Riga, Latvia
See all sites in Riga

Details

Founded: 1876-1883
Category: Religious sites in Latvia
Historical period: Part of the Russian Empire (Latvia)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Craig Dunn (3 years ago)
Very special place. Highly recommend a visit when in Riga.
Alan Fogarty (3 years ago)
Beautiful building and easy to find . You can view the freedom mounument, nativity and the art deco area all in one stroll
George On tour (3 years ago)
The Riga Nativity of Christ Cathedral is the largest Orthodox church in Riga, which has withstood the Soviet-era as a planetarium and restaurant, but once again has become a sacral building, where Orthodox church services take place on a regular basis. The cathedral’s founding stone was laid on July 3, 1876 by Riga Bishop Serafim (Protopov). The initial design did not feature a separate belfry but as the Russian Czar Alexander II presented a surprise gift (12 bells) the design was improved with one more dome for bells. The official opening took place on October 28, 1884.
Chamara Wijesinghe (3 years ago)
There's a nice bird's eye view of this church from the skyline bar if Raddison hotel. The golden domes looks beautiful from there. But when you go to the church itself it's not the most impressive. Active church and no photographs are allowed inside. Inside is just a typical orthodox church interior.
Paul Graves (3 years ago)
Pretty church, just nothing like the church of the spilled blood. No photos are allowed to be taken inside. Nearly got thrown out for these. Quite rude actually.
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