St. Peter's Church, Riga

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  • St. Peter's Church
    by littlebush
  • St. Peter's Church
    by littlebush
  • St. Peter's Church
    by littlebush
  • antistar's Profile Photo

    St. Peter's Cathedral

    by antistar Updated Nov 27, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St. Peter's Church
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    Its slender, tiered steeple is one of Riga's most eye-catching sights, and forms part of a beautifully renovated late medieval Gothic church. The church, and especially the tower, has burned down and been rebuilt several times. The last big hit the church took was from artillery shells during World War 2. This knocked down the steeple, and it wasn't fully restored until 1984.

    This late restoration does have a bonus though: they built in an elevator. So you can rise to the top for magnificent views without the usual strain. This does make for long queues, though.

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    Useful landmark

    by leics Written Aug 24, 2013

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    St Peter's spire
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    St Peter's (Pēterbaznīca) was less than a minute's walk from my hotel so I passed it many times in my few days. Its spire became a very useful landmark too, specially when i was trying to navigate with those incorrect maps!

    This is another of old town Riga's ancient churches, dating from the very early 1200s although little of that first building remains visible.It was enlarged in the 1400s, with further construction and changes in the 1600s.

    The spire has an interesting history. A 400+ foot steeple was added in 1491 but that collapsed in 1666. A new tower was built but destroyed in one of Riga's city fires in 1677. A new tower was built in 1687, but the city council didn't approve of it so it was torn down before completion. the accepted wooden version was complete by 1690 but it, along with much of the church, was destroyed in 1721 by a lightning strike and subsequent fire. But they didn't give up. A new tower was finished by 1746 and remained standing until much of the church was blasted away during the Second World War.

    What you see today is the end result of years of reconstruction and renovation (the church wasn't given back to its Lutheran congregation until 2006). The three-tiered steel spire is an exact replica of the one which was standing before 1941 and now contains a lift to whizz visitors up for a magnificent view of Riga's rooftops.

    And therein lies the rub. I had no desire to take the lift up the tower and yet I could not view the church interior without paying 4 Lats for both lift and interior. So I didn't explore inside (most of the interior decoration was removed or destroyed in the 1500s anyway, long before its later damage by fire and war). I simply looked from the point where further access was forbidden.

    You may wish to go up the tower and/or pay to enter the church (there were certainly plenty of tour groups including it).

    You'll find the 'Musicians of Bremen' sculpture at the rear of the church.

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  • fachd's Profile Photo

    St. Peter’s Church

    by fachd Written Sep 19, 2012

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    St. Peter’s Church is amongst the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Dating back to the 13th century it is one of the oldest medieval Gothic architecture in the Baltic States, also like St Jacobs it has change denominations during her career. The church has had rigorous change of make up throughout her career due to fire. The impressive tall tower can be seen from far away in my opinion almost an icon of Riga old town. Today you can board an elevator up the spire for panoramic views of the city. Due to time factor the long queue deterred us from looking but they say the panoramic view of the city is amazing.

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    ST. PETERS CHURCH

    by balhannah Updated Feb 18, 2012

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    St. Peters Church
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    St. Peter's Church [1209], is named after Saint Peter.
    A rather plain looking Church on the outside, it's built of stone which probably saved the Church from being devastated by the fire that burnt nearly all the wooden buildings in Riga to the ground.

    St. Peter's Church was built in three different periods - Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque, so it is quite a mix of architecture.

    Although it didn't burn down in the great city fire of Riga, it did burn down during World War II. In 1954, it was decided to restore the Church, so an architect commenced work, making sure the Church looked like the original, even to the details of the Rooster who sat on top of the Church spire.
    In 1975, the renovated tower clock was working once again, but in Latvia, tradition means it has only an hour hand. Latvian Folk Music began in 1976, and now plays five times a day and bells ring at the top every hour.
    The tower has an elevator installed that allows visitors a view of Riga from a height of 72 metres.

    Admission to the tower for a birds eye view of Riga is 3Ls.
    Open ...10 - 7pm daily

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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    St. Peter's church

    by Raimix Updated Feb 12, 2012

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    It is the one very tall church in Riga old town, going on the top of the tower you can see panorama, but I haven't had that chance, maybe someday… This church is one of the best examples of gothic architecture in the Baltic States.

    The interior looks very gothic and is very great, I felt very medieval atmosphere. Object is dominating sight from everywhere in the old town and not only. It became as one of symbols of Riga.

    I have also visited the top of church, it cost 2 lats with group - discount. The view is amazing, and I should say, here is the best panorama of Riga.

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  • Flying.Scotsman's Profile Photo

    Gothic church tower for a spectacular view of Riga

    by Flying.Scotsman Written Apr 22, 2011

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    View from St Peter's church steeple
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    A Gothic church dating from the 13th century, the tiered steeple is a landmark visible from all over the city. The view from the steeple which can be accessed by a lift is not for those who fear heights - like me - though I did last for a few minutes! What bothered me most was that I felt stranded once the lift went down as there are no stairs. The views are amazing though and worth putting aside any fears of heights for even a few minutes to take in the view.

    The admission charge is Ls 0.50 (about 80 pence Sterling).

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  • georeiser's Profile Photo

    St. Peter's church

    by georeiser Written Dec 29, 2009

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    St. Peter's church

    St. Peter's church is one of the oldest churches in Riga. St. Peter's church was first a Catholic church, but has been Lutheran since 1523. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. The latest restoration was in 1973. St. Peter's church has a great view from the observation platform at 71 meter of the church tower, where you can see the hole city. The total hight of the spire is 123 meters.

    Opening Hours:
    Every day 10 - 18 (But closed Mondays)
    It cost 2 Ls to go up in the spire.

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  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    The Town Musicians of Bremen

    by MalenaN Written Jan 8, 2009

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    The Town Musicians of Bremen

    The Town Musicians of Bremen is a statue that stands behind St Peter’s Church. The statue is a gift to Riga from the German city of Bremen. There has been links between the two cities for a long time. Already in the 12th century there were trade between the two cities.
    The theme of the statue is based on a fairytale written by the Grimm brothers. It is of four animals, a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster.

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  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    St John's Church

    by MalenaN Written Dec 31, 2008

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    St John's Church
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    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.

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  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    St Peter's Church

    by MalenaN Updated Dec 25, 2008

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    St Peter's Church
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    One of the first things I did when I had arrived in Riga was to go up in the church tower of St Peter’s Church from where you get a great view over Riga (even on a cloudy day). An elevator will take you up to the view point at 72 metres.
    Then I saw the museum in the church. The exhibition mainly consists of traditional Latvian handicraft, mostly textiles, but also jewellery, pottery and iron goods.
    St Peter’s Church is built of red brick and it has got a tall spire, 123.25 metres high. The first church on the site was built in 1209 and was made of wood. The church has been destroyed several times and rebuilt. The last time it was destroyed by fire was in 1941, during the Second World War.
    It cost 2 Ls to go up in the spire and 0.5 Ls to visit the museum (December 2008). The church is closed on Mondays and open all other days for visitors between 10 – 17.

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  • gugi66's Profile Photo

    Sv. Petera Church

    by gugi66 Written Sep 22, 2008

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    Wiew from Sv. Petera Church
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    One of the oldest churches in Riga. For 2 Lats (Latvian money) you can take the elevator up to the first platform of the tower (about 70 meters high). The wiew over Riga is great from up here, but the platform (goes around the spere) is so narrow so if it´s many people be prepared to to some pushing or to be pushed away. And when it´s time to go down it´s the same story again push push push to go first.

    But ok despite the pushing it was worth the trip up. So I recommend that you go up and see the wiew.

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  • Acirfa's Profile Photo

    Sv.Petera Baznicas Parvalde. (St Peters Church)

    by Acirfa Updated Apr 30, 2008

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    This church is one of the most lovely attractions in Old Riga and has been since the 15th century.

    It was completely destroyed in 18th century by fire and again in the 20th century, during the Second World War.

    It was from here, in the tower that I managed to get some shots of the City. A fabulous viewing gallery indeed

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  • kit_mc's Profile Photo

    St Peter's Basilica

    by kit_mc Written Mar 25, 2008

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    St Peter's Basilica, Riga
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    Dominating the skyline of the Old Town is the tallest of the spires of Riga, belonging to the beautiful gothic St Peter's Basilica.

    Entry to the main body of the cathedral is free, but to really take advantage of this huge church, you'll maybe want to pay the extra and take a walk around the edges, stopping off to get a good look at the ornate church organ and go up the tower for a view of the city.

    The tower was once one of the tallest in Europe and has been rebuilt several times over the last 800 or so years. On the way up to the lift and the top you'll pass some photos of how the church looked after the last time it was nearly destroyed. The church was nearly obliterated by fire during World War II but its reconstruction was completed in the 1970s.

    The lift to the top whizzes up at startling speed. Be aware that this is not the best experience if you've a fear of heights. And even less so on an incredibly cold windy day...

    In December the church holds a series of Advent concerts for free that are worth popping along to see.

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Excellent views over Riga from St Peters church

    by angiebabe Written Dec 9, 2007

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    looking over Riga's old town centre
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    Dating mainly from the 15th century this church is now used as an exhibition hall and the means, by elevator, to get a birdseye view over the old centre of Riga and surrounds from its 72 metre spire.

    When I was there the information I had was that the access to the viewing gallery closed early at 3 or 4 - when I rushed there on the advertised closing time I found that closing time was not till 5pm.

    The entrance fee was cheap.

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  • ealgisi's Profile Photo

    St. Peter's Church

    by ealgisi Updated Nov 19, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    The St. Peter's church was mentioned for the first time in the year 1209.
    Is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in the Baltics, meant to be the main church of the town.

    The church tower seemed to be jinxed and it was burned down and rebuilt many times. It first collapsed in 1666 and the last destruction it suffered was on St. Peter's Day in the year 1941. In 1973 the tower was restored for the last time. From the observation platform of the tower you can enjoy a wonderful eagle's-eye view of Riga.

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