The Russian Orthodox Cathedral rises its gilded cupolas over the treetops in the Esplanade Park at Brivibas Boulevard.
The church was built in 1876 and was turned into a planetarium in the Soviet era. Luckily for us, the practical studies of the sky changed into more theoretical ones after 1991.
This Cathedral was built between 1876 and 1883 in the neo-Byzantine style. It is the largest Orthodox cathedral in the Baltic states. During the first World War it was changed to a Lutheran church and later during Soviet times it became a planetarium.
Now it is what it used to be: an orthodox church with many golden icons in it and dozens of the typical slim candles that are being lit by the visitors of the church.
Byzantine style Orthodox church was built in Brivibas street at the years of 1876-1884. In Soviet Union times (that's, like always, funny) this church was turned into planetarium, lecture hall. Inside as usual for Russian churches, is full of icons and the painted cupolas from inside looks nice, just turn your head up and you will see.
The Orthodox Cathedral was built between 1876 and 1884. It has the typical features of most orthodox churches with its five cupolas.
During Soviet times the cathedral served as a planetarium and lecture hall. Nowadays the cathedral is again a fully working orthodox church.
The Orthodox Cathedral and went in. It was decorated richly with gold and ornaments and in its way it was beautiful, though coming from a Lutheran country I would think that all those decorations would take my mind off from worshipping the god. Unfortunately photography was not allowed there, so I only have photos taken out of the cathedral.
Another park where it is nice to take a stroll is Esplanade Park. In one end of the park is the State Museum of Art and in the other end the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. And on the other side of the road is Reval Hotel Latvija.
In the park are several monuments/statues. In the third photo you can see the statue of Prince Michael Barclay de Tolly, a statue made by Wilhelm Wandschneider. It was stolen in 1915, two years after the inauguration, and replaced by a replica. That replica was dislodged by a tree in 2005.
This massive and impressive building, which is located in esplanade, was built in the end of 19th century. It has five great domes with golden crosses. During Soviet times here was Science building, planetarium and coffee house 'The ear of the God', where ruled bohemian atmosphere. Nowadays cathedral got back its old functions.
The Nativity of Christ Cathedral is surrounded by a lovey park. Built in the 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 and was built with the blessing of the Russian Tsar Alexander II.
This large and magnificent Cathedral has five domes on raised towers. The interior of the Church is enriched with many icons and other sacramental objects which we were able to view.
During Soviet occupation, the Cathedral was closed down and converted into a planetarium. The cathedral was restored after Latvia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
It is beautiful on the outside and inside too!
The top was being restored, so it looks a bit funny in the photo!
(work in progress)
We were particularly touched by the Russian Orthodox cathedral in Riga, the largest Orthodox church in the Baltics. This lovely building has had a turbulent history, being converted to a Lutheran church under German occupation, restored to Orthodoxy on Latvian independence in 1921 and then converted to an observatory under under secular Soviet rule. After decades of neglect, the cathedral is being lovingly restored to its former glory (this work was underway when we visited in 2005, and I don't know whether it's yet complete), and the fundraising campaign to finance this was a touching appeal to the spirit of ecumenical cooperation and sense of Latvian national pride.
We visited the cathedral on our last day in Riga when the early evening light was slanting through the coloured windows and a choir was performing Gregorian chant: the combination was so atmospheric that it reduced us to tears.
It's proper name is the Nativity Cathedral of Riga, and it was built between 1873 and 1883.
Started in 1991 after independence, the restoration was completed just recently and the church is now a beautiful landmark, and, like Orthodox churches in general are, colorfully decorated both inside and outside.
Its gleaming cupolas reflect the sun when watched from a distance from view points like the Latvija Hotel Sky Bar and the Bell tower of St Peter's church.
With the restoration completed, visitors are now allowed and on the facade you can see the peculiar striped tiling that sets this church apart from other Orthodox churches I have seen. Before the restoration, you could barely make out this feature (see pics).
Inside, the icons on display are colorful and golden as typically they are, and the wall and ceiling are painted in many colours. However, you are not allowed to take pictures inside.
Please behave appropriately in this space of religious worship, and it is a nice gesture to give some contribution to the upkeep of this magnificent building.
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