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Riga Churches | Churches In Riga Latvia
Churches are a major tourist attraction Riga for tourists visiting the country. You will find churches that will give you an insight into the city’s history and architecture over the years.
» St. Jacob's Church:

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 tower 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. Peters Church:

St. Peters Church was meant to be the main church in town and this church came into existence for the first time in 1209. During the fight with the Livonian Order in 1297 it was used for catapult bombarding of the Wittenstein Castle. In 1408-1409 Rostock architect I. Rummeschotel added a new altar part the existing building. The construction works continued in 1456 and by 1473 the old church was reconstructed.

The church’s tower of the church had quite a bad luck so was rebuilt many times. For the first time it collapsed in 1966. Then it got burned down several times - the last one was right on St. Peter's Day in 1941. In 1971, the tower was restored. From the observation platform built on the top of the tower you can enjoy a wonderful bird's eye view of Riga. It’s one of the best samples of Gothic architecture in the Baltics. Various concerts and exhibitions are held in the church.
» St. John's Church 
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 church was rebuilt and the eastern altar part was added. A little farther, through that ancient gate near St. John's Church, you can see old Jana seta (John's Yard) with a reconstructed fragment of the fortification wall surrounding the medieval Riga. One 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.
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