St. Peter's Church in Riga

St. Peter's Church in RigaSt. Peter’s Church is a unique character and one of the main attractions of the city of Riga (Latvia). First it is an outstanding piece of architecture was mentioned in 1209. The Church is known for its unusual spire height of 64.5 meters with a total height of the tower of the Church to 123.5 meters.

The Church of St. Peter was erected as a national Church. He, in defiance of the dome Cathedral, which was built by the authorities of Riga, was built on the funds collected from artisans, merchants, and even simple peasants. However, St. Peter’s Church was the main religious building of privileged stratum of the population in feudal Riga. The Church worked one of the oldest schools in the city.

The temple was built in the Gothic style. Originally the room was not very large. It was planned to build an ordinary Church. But in the early 15th century was built a new altar part of the building and the bell tower in the Gothic style. After, in the 17th century, were erected decorated Baroque portals, and the Church had a spire, which we can see in our days.

The spire of St. Peter’s Church is the most recognizable part of and inseparable component of the panorama of Riga.

In the XIII century tower of the Church was a separate building. For the first time, as part of the Church, the tower was built in the late XV century. It was then erected an octagonal spire of wood, which stood for almost two hundred years. In the middle of XVII century old spire collapsed. Suffered one of the houses, and killed eight people. The spire was rebuilt in the following year, but in 10 years burned. In 1690 the spire was re-built. Interestingly, this spire has long been the highest spire of wood in Europe, whose height of 64.5 meters with a total height of the tower of the Church to 123.5 meters.

In 1721 in the tower of St. Peter’s Church was hit by lightning. There was a fire. His fighting was attended by the Russian Emperor Peter I, who was in Riga at that time. Unfortunately, the fire put out failed. Spire almost all burned and collapsed. Fortunately, the burning spire not rained upon the city, and has developed in himself.” It has not caused unnecessary damage. According to legend, helped prayers of Peter the great . In the same year, Peter I issued a decree commanded to recreate the spire. Work was completed in just over two decades in 1741. Lasted recreated spire exactly two centuries and was destroyed in the day of memory of Saint Peter (Gregorian calendar). The Church was badly damaged during the Second World war. For a long time the building was destroyed. And finally, in 1966, it has been restored. The construction of the spire was completed in 1973. The shape and dimensions of the new spire was entirely repeated the original. But he was made of metal. In the spire appeared two observation deck at a height of 57 and 71 ft. And for the convenience of visitors was installed Elevator and concrete stairs.

Today among tourists and visitors to the city are very popular lookout St Peter’s Church, and the spire is depicted in many pictures and Souvenirs.