St.John's church was dedicated on August 27, 1900 after the long history before. The first wooden church was built in 1461, the next, also made of wood, was built in 1530 and renovated in 1567. The masonry church was built in 1614-1615 and financed by Wilhelm Duke.
The fifth church in Saldus was built in 1737 on the hill where the present church stands. It was reconstructed in 1825. In 1898 the old church was torn down. Architect Wilhelm Neumann designed the church. Construction took place from 1898 to 1899 and cost 19,700 rubles.The completed church was named in honor of St. John.
The church was reconstructed in 1938 for a sum of 15,000 lats. The artist Ansis Bērziņš led the renovation of the interior and furnishings. The retreating German army bombed the church tower in 1944. The roof was also damaged. A temporary wooden tower was built in 1945-1946.
Demolition of the temporary tower began on June 13, 1981, and the construction of the new tower began ten days later. Saldus architect Edgars Krūmiņš designed the tower and V. Krivans made the rooster at the top of the spire. The renovated church was dedicated on August 1, 1982. The underground tombs were opened and researched during a renovation in 1995, when heated flooring was installed. The church facade was renovated in 2006.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).