Riga Churches List and Addresses
Riga Dome Cathedral
Doma laukums 1, Riga
One of the centrepieces of the Old Town, the Riga Dome Cathedral is not to be missed. Not that that's likely to happen as it's the sort of building you see from afar and feel yourself gravitating towards. Resplendent red brick on the outside, the Dome (or 'Dom') Cathedral is also a beauty from within. Whitewashed walls tower over the faithful, while austere woodwork provides a pleasing contrast. Of course the real cynosure of the Dome is its giant organ. Built between 1883 and 1884 and boasting 124 registers and 6828 pipes, it's a real monster. Regular concerts give it a work out.
Saint Peter Church
Skārņu str. 19, Riga
Riga St. Peter’s Church - the tallest peak in Riga, is one the oldest and most valuable monuments of medieval architecture in the Baltic States. It is located in the historical centre of Riga and in 1997 was included among the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The church hall is used for exhibitions and concerts. Your are welcome to visit the tower of the church offering breathtaking views of the medieval and modern Riga, the Daugava with its spacious harbour and the Gulf of Riga.
The orthodox Nativity of Christ Cathedral
South of Esplanade Park, Riga
The Nativity of Christ Cathedral (Latvian: Kristus Piedzimšanas pareizticīgo katedrāle), was built to a design by Nikolai Chagin in a 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 built with the blessing of the Russian Tsar Alexander II on the initiative of local governor-general Pyotr Bagration and Bishop Veniamin Karelin. The Nativity of Christ Cathedral is renowned for its icons, some of which were painted by Vasili Vereshchagin. During the First World War German troops occupied Riga and turned its largest Russian Orthodox cathedral into a Lutheran church. In independent Latvia the Nativity of Christ Cathedral once again became an Orthodox cathedral in 1921. Archbishop Jānis Pommers, a native Latvian, played a key part in the defence of the cathedral. In the early 1960s Soviet authorities closed down the cathedral and converted its building into a planetarium. The cathedral has been restored since Latvia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Saint John‘s Church
Jāņa str. 7, Riga
The church is built on the site of the palace of Bishop Albert of Riga (thirteenth century). In 1234 Dominican friars took responsibility for the original small chapel and dedicated it to St John the Baptist. It was extended around 1330, and continued as a Dominican chapel and parish church until 1523, and the Reformation. It continued as a parish church of the reformed Evangelical Lutheran Church. From 1587 there was further expansion of the church, in stages. The church suffered severe damage in Riga's great city fire of 31 May 1677, but was repaired, with a new spire added.
The church is an active place of worship, with more than a thousand registered members, and public worship every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. It is also a popular tourist venue, and is regularly open to visitors when guides are available. The church is also used as a concert venue, due to its large size and good acoustic properties.
Saint James Cathedral (Saint James Cathedral)
Jēkaba str. 9, Riga
St. James's Cathedral, or the Cathedral Basilica of St. James, (Latvian: Svētā Jēkaba katedrāle) is the Roman Catholic cathedral of Riga in Latvia.
The cathedral is dedicated to Saint James the Greater. It is frequently referred to by the incorrect name St. Jacob. The confusion arises because Latvian, like many other languages, uses the same word for James and Jacob.
The building is part of the Old Riga UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The church building was dedicated in 1225. It was not originally a cathedral since the Rigas Doms served that function. At the beginning of the 15th century the Holy Cross Chapel was built at the south end of the early Gothic church, and part of the church was transformed into a basilica.
In 1522 during the Protestant Reformation the building became the second German language Lutheran church in Riga. In 1523 it became the first Latvian language Lutheran church there.
In 1582 it was given to the Jesuits as part of the Counter-Reformation when Stephen Báthory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth gained control of Riga. In 1621 it was given back to the Lutherans after Gustav II Adolf of Sweden occupied Riga. At various times it served as a Swedish language, German language, or Estonian language Lutheran church. In 1812 it was used as a food storehouse by Napoleon's troops.
In 1901 the oldest Baroque altar in Riga from 1680 was replaced by a new one. Following a referendum in 1923, the building was given back to the Catholics for use as their cathedral since the Rīgas Doms was now an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral.
Mārstaļu str. 10, Riga
The Reformats' Church, which dates back to 1721-33, was designed Christopher Meinert, grandson of Christopher Haberland. Meinert came to Riga in 1721 and in 1735 became Master of the Guild. He was also involved in the renovation of the church of St Peter. One of the few Calvinist churches in Latvia, it is richly decorated with pilasters and surmounted by a little tower topped with the Morning Star. After a fire, it was rebuilt in 1805 with the church on the upper floor and the ground floor being used a warehouse. During the Soviet occupation, the building was converted into a recording studio.