St. Jacob's Church, Riga
Another Catholic cathedral in this ethnically and religiously mixed city, but despite this it is famous for being the first church to preach the reformation and the first to accept Lutheran services. Today it retains its Catholic status, and is the seat of the Arch-Bishop of the Latvian Catholic Church.
This church is dedicated to St James the Greater, not to St Jacob. The confusion over the name is because Latvian uses the same word for both Jacob and James.The church's Latvian name is Jekaba baznica and it is the seat for Riga's Roman Catholic Archbishop.
It is also part of the Riga UNESCO World Heritage site.
Like St John's this is a very old church, dating back to the early 1200s. It was not originally Riga's cathedral...the Dom was...but, after the Reformation and sundry other upheavals which saw the building used for various religious groups (and as storehouse during Napoleon's 1812 campaign) eventually became the RC cathedral in 1923. Its interior, and the many Medieval artworks it contained at that time, was severely damaged (and in many cases destroyed) by townspeople in 1584.
Despite all this damage and change, the church remains an atmospheric place. You go down into the interior..a sure sign of great age, because all settlement surfaces rise over the centuries as roads are renewed and replaced. Just a few ancient graveslabs remain displayed inside the church, including one from the 1600s which is dedicated to one 'Matthias Forbes'...surely a man with English or Scots ancestry?
You'll almost certainly pass St James', not least because it's very near the 'Three Brothers'...a trio of buildings which seem to be on everyone's 'must-see' list. If the church is open, do go inside; it's worth more than a minute or two of your time.
I knew as soon as i came across this building that it was old...and it is.
St John's dates from the 13th century (1200s) and has the most lovely stepped gable, although that is of course much less old...and in danger of falling down, at present; it needs a lot of money spent on it, so donations are much appreciated.
The church was originally small, of course, and has been extended over the centuries. It was damaged in the fire of 1677, which destroyed much of Riga's old town, but was repaired and had its spire added.
If you look at the southern wall, facing St Peter's church, you'll see a small cross-shaped hole made of bricks. It is said that two Medieval monks walled themselves up here (something which was not uncommon in those times) and received their food through the small window. The cross shape is to mark the window...but I also spotted one high up on the eastern wall. Surely it's not to commemorate yet another immured monk?
The interior is calm and pleasant, with beautiful ceiling arches picked out in coloured paint and a series of painted panels stretching across the aisle to the rear (I couldn't get near enough to see what they were).
Definitely somewhere worth visiting and, if you do..please leave a donation for the building work. Ancient buildings like this deserve to be preserved, whether you are religious or not.
St. Jacob’s (St James) Cathedral is one of the oldest features of Rīga historical centre that has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The church was dedicated to Saint James and it was built in Gothic style in 1210. Depending who’s in power the cathedral has change denominations during her career. During Protestant Reformation it became Lutheran church then it became Jesuits. Today the church is representing the Catholic Church.
It is one of the oldest Riga churches, from 1225. Inside and outside view is great - gothic style. The history shows that church was turned to different Christianity religions much times - at first it was Catholic, later, in XVI century - turned into Lutheran, later Catholic and Lutheran again. But now it is finally Catholic church as it was from the first years. Must see.
St Jacob’s Church was constructed in 1225 - 1226, but it has burnt and been rebuilt many times. The tower is 73 metres high and has got a green copper roof. St Jacob’s Church belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, but has changed hands many times. For example was the first Lutheran service in Latvia held here in 1522.
This building is much lovelier inside than outside, originally built in the 1200s though remodelled over the years, it is now the city's small Roman Catholic cathedral - look out for it's spire in the northern part of the Old Town. During its history it has gone from being a catholic church, to a Lutheran church, back to Catholic and even been a Swedish garrison apparently. It has remained in Catholic hands since 1922.
Slightly goulishly legend has it that the body of a well dressed man was found buried in the walls during renovation work in the late 1700s.
Inside this felt like a much warmer and more welcoming environment. Whitewashed walls and exposed brickwork arches reminded me of the cathedral of my childhood St Chads which was built much later by Pugin as part of the British Gothic revival in the 1800s. It also feels much grander than Our Lady of Sorrows nearby.
It's open from early morning to around 8pm most days though closed on Saturday. The cathdreal contains the usual hut/gift shop of religious related items such as rosary beads and prayer cards.
This Roman Catholic church up in a cobbled corner of Pils Laukums has stood in its present form on the site for over 200 years. Outside it is a pretty towered structure of white and pale blue. Inside, the atmosphere is slightly oppressive, more cold and bleak than many RC churches I've visited and less welcoming than St Jacobs a few streets away.
The windows contain plain glass rather than
It's open most of the day from early morning to early evening, though I never really saw the interior lit up, you can just pop in take a look around what was at one point Riga's only RC church. Also inside, a little wooden hut houses a little old lady selling rather hideous souvenirs. The day I visited they were also setting up a rather grand nativity scene in one of the side chapels.
St. Jacobs Church is another one of those churches dating back to the early days of Riga. It was finished in 1225 and at that time was located outside the city walls and mainly visited by travellers. After being turned into a protestant church after the reformation in the 16th century it's again a Roman Catholic church these days.
Admission to this church is free
St. Jacob's Church is one of the oldest churches in Riga. It was mentioned for the fist time in chronicles in 1226. After the reformation it was owned by Lutherans. In 1582, it was given to the Catholic Order of Jesuits. In the 17th century the church building served needs of Swedish garrison. And only in 1922 it was turned over to Catholic community. Now St. Jacob's Church is a Catholic cathedral in Riga.
The tower of St. Jacob's Church is the only one in the city that still has Gothic spire that was one of the main earlier characteristics for all Riga churches. The steeple of St. Jacob's Church is quite unique. It's the only one in Riga that has a bell hanging outside. This bell somehow gained a name "Bell of Wretched Sinners". As legend says, it was taken away at requests of discontented townspeople because it had a bad habit to ring by itself when any unfaithful wife went by.
St. Jacob's is one of the oldest churches in Riga, references date back to 1225. At that time it was a church for the suburban residents. After the religious Reformation in the early 16th century it became Lutheran in 1522, in 1582 it was given to the Catholic Order of Jesuits, in the 17th century it belonged to the Swedish garrison and in 1922 the church was turned over to the Catholic community. Now it is Roman-Catholic.
This is one of oldest churches in Rīga. And from the beginning here was catholic parish, but later it changed to Lutheran and also to Russian church. The church get backs to its primer communion only in 20th century.
The spire of the church is very good architectural example of the Gothic style.
Roman Catholic Cathedral of Riga was originally built outside the city walls between 1225-1226, but it has been rebuilt several times. The sanctuary and the naves are originla though. The church has changed hands on several occasions. After the Reformation it became a Lutheran parish church, in 1582 it was handed to Jesuit order and in 1621 it became Swedish garrison church and finally in 1922 it was returned to the Catholic church!