St Johns Church, Riga
The first church on this site was built in 1234 for the Dominicans, but when it became too small it was expanded in 1330. It has since than been added to several times and the architecture and art is a mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles
If you look up on the façade, facing St Peter’s Church, you can see two small stone faces, which are probably the faces of two monks.
St Johns church is dedicated to St John the baptist and is one of the most used chirches in Riga.
It is frequesntly used for concerts due to its wonderful accoustics.
Well worth a visit to see the art works here, and to hear the organ if you are lucky enough. I was.
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. John's Church is a Protestant church in Riga. Built in 1297, this old Church was used as the chapel of a Dominican abbey. The church was destroyed several times, so not all the architecture is from the same period. Over 400 years of services in Latvian have been held in this church.
A part of the fortification wall which was 11 metres high and 2.5 metres thick which once surrounded the city, can be seen in St. Johns Courtyard.
This church is famous for the two monks who were bricked into the southern wall. They spent all their life there, being fed from a trough that ran through a window from the outside.
The church was built in the Dominican monastery after 1234; it was used like a chapel. Later, church was used as a furniture workshop and weapon arsenal.
In the 15th century two monks were immured here in their own free will, only a small window were left for them - this place have a sign in church, but, pity, haven’t seen it. The church is really worth visiting of history and beauty - interior is very beautiful.
Heading the popular and touristy street of Skarnu iela is the pretty little church of St. John's. It's dwarfed by its neighbour, St. Peter's, but forms part of a pleasant little street packed with many of Riga's best restaurants. There's a whole lot of history here.
The church was formed in the 13th century as part of the Catholic Dominican order, but now belongs to the Protestant Lutherans. The evidence of its Catholic past can be seen in the etched face of a monk high on the church wall, and the convent garden tucked around the back.
St. John's church was built in the Dominican monastery after 1234.
After expulsion of the Dominicans, the building was privately owned it was used as a furniture workshop and later as a weapon arsenal.
In 1582 it became a part of the Latvian parish and in 1587-89 the eastern part of the altar was added. In the 15th century two monks were immured here of their own free will and only a small window in the wall to pass them food and drinks was left. The spot where the monks were walled up, and subsequently buried, can be easily seen today, marked by a cruciform barred aperture in the wall.
After St. Peter’s and the dome, the third larger church in the old town is St. John’s located in the southeast. First built as a chapel of the now destroyed dominican monastery, it grew into today’s big church. Although styles from gothic to baroque mix here into each other, the church has some kind of medieval aura. It’s probably because it’s in this area where you can find more medieval architecture than in any other part of the old town. The old, restored court of the former convent is only one of a handfull of structures contributing to the slightly medieval atmospehere.
Inside the church, have a look at a place where two monks were immured on their own free will. They received food and drinks through a small hole left open. Of course, the monks did not survive for long and so, that’s also the place where they were buried.
St. John's Church also is one of the oldest churches in Riga, which is situated besides St. Peter's Church. It dates back to the beginning of 13th century when it was Dominican Monastery. In the 1234 new St. John's church was consecrated by monks. Later after reformation activities the Monastery was closed and used as armory. After some time it becomes as Latvian Parish.
Attention takes two small heads and cross which are seen on the churche's wall. As the legend tells in ancient times the heads in the church's wall were for delivering a sermon. And there were two monks who wanted to be immured alive in the church. Nowadays at that place can be seen the cross.
Entering the church you can see the sentence which is written in old Latvian letters which in older times were very similar to German letters. Nowadays it's difficult to read such specific font. It says: "Let the God bless your entry".
When bishop Albert came to Riga at the beginning of 13th century, he established not only the new city but also ordered to built the new residence for his needs. For this reason there was chosen John’s courtyard, where was built the new castle, but during centuries it was so uncared, that almost nothing has left. Only in the past century when serious research works was performed, it was discovered the old wall from the castle. As it was said there were located living and presentation premises. The wall is 11 meters high and more than two meters thick.
At the entrance in the courtyard, on the wall you can see the old coat of arms.
St. John's Church was first built as a chapel and a part of the Dominican monastery ensemble. It was first mentioned in the 13th century. After expulsion of the Dominicans at the time of reformation, the building was privately owned. It was used as a stable and later as a weapon workshop. In 1582, it became a part of a Latvian parish.
In 1587-1589 the rebuilding took place and the eastern altar part was added. Go forward, through that ancient gate near St. John's Church, and then you can see old Jana seta (John's Yard) with a reconstructed fragment of the fortification wall surrounding the medieval Riga.
If you go forward again, you can see beautiful Konventa seta (Convent yard) where The Castle of Sword-bearers' order stood in the 13th century. At the end of the 13th century it was destroyed by Riga's citizens who wished to free themselves from the power of the order.
Though it was burnt and completely abandoned after WWII, it recently received a facelift to restore it to its former glory. Many of the interior fittings have been moved to St. Mary's but its famous 12 metre high renaissance altar remains. This remarkable phantom of a church comes alive with occasional concerts. Cat lovers should keep an eye out on the legion of black cats who have made the church environs their home.
St. John’s Church, before being a church, was the chapel of a Dominican abbey and it is famous for two monks that were walled in there. It dates back to the 13th century.
During the Reformation the Dominicans were forced to leave the church and the building became privately owned and used first as a stable and later even as a weapon workshop. Only in 1582 it became a church again.
In the courtyard you can see a fragment of the fortification wall that was once surrounding the city. This walls used to be 11 metres high and up to 2.5 metres wide.
St. John's church was built in the Dominican monastery after 1234, first intended as a chapel. After expulsion of the Dominicans in the period of Reformation, the building was privately owned – it was used as a furniture workshop and later as a weapon arsenal. In 1582 it became a part of the Latvian parish. In 1587-89 the eastern part of the altar was added. In the 15th century two monks were immured here of their own free will. Only a small window in the wall to pass them food and drinks was left. The spot where the monks were walled up, and subsequently buried, can be easily seen today, marked by a cruciform barred aperture in the wall.
This old Dominican monastery was erected in 1234 as a chapel (I guess the year is easy to remember). In the 13th century it was used as a stable. In 14th century as workshop for arms and armors. From 15th it was used again as church.
Open daily from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
In 1587 the altar was installed. I was told that two monks were walled behind the altar at their own will. Small vents enabled to provide them with food and drinks. They wished to be canonized but the Pope never did. Both died there. A legend?