Riga Cathedral

Riga Cathedral (Latvian: Rīgas Doms; German: Dom zu Riga) formally The Cathedral Church of Saint Mary, is the Evangelical Lutheran cathedral in Riga, Latvia. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Riga.

Riga Cathedral
The Cathedral of Saint Mary
Rīgas Doms
Riga Petrikirche Blick vom Turm zum Dom 3.JPG
Riga Cathedral with Riga Castle and Daugava River in the background
Riga Cathedral is located in Riga
Riga Cathedral
Riga Cathedral
56°56′57″N 24°6′16″E / 56.94917°N 24.10444°E / 56.94917; 24.10444Coordinates: 56°56′57″N 24°6′16″E / 56.94917°N 24.10444°E / 56.94917; 24.10444
Previous denominationCatholic Church
WebsiteCathedral Website
Founded25 June 1211 (1211-06-25)
Founder(s)Albert of Riga
DedicationVirgin Mary
ArchbishopJānis Vanags
DeanElijs Godiņš
Pastor(s)Sandis Ratnieks

The cathedral is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Latvia, and is featured in or the subject of paintings, photographs and television travelogues. Like all of the oldest churches of the city, it is known for its weathercock.

The church is commonly called the Dome Cathedral, a tautology as the word 'Dome' comes from the German Dom meaning 'cathedral'.

History and architectureEdit

The church was built near the River Daugava in 1211 by Livonian Bishop Albert of Riga, who came from Lower Saxony in northwestern Germany. It is considered the largest medieval church in the Baltic states. It has undergone many modifications in the course of its history.

David Caspari was rector of the cathedral school in the late 17th century. His son Georg Caspari also served at the cathedral.

Following a 1923 referendum the Lutheran Church had been forced to share the cathedral with the Roman Catholic Church,[1] but this was reversed in the 1931 Latvian Riga Cathedral referendum, returning it to the Lutheran Church.

Religious services were prohibited during the Soviet occupation from 1939 to 1989, and the cathedral was used as a concert hall. The Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation was located in the southern wing of the cathedral. The cathedral was reopened for religious services in 1991, and is used by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia.

In 2011 the copper roofing above the nave was replaced. In 2015 the tower exterior was also re-plated and its wooden support structure renewed.

Pipe organEdit

The organ of the Riga Cathedral was built by E.F. Walcker & Sons of Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, in 1882–83,[2] and was inaugurated on 31 January 1884. It has four manuals and one pedalboard. It plays 116 voices, 124 stops, 144 ranks, and 6718 pipes. It includes 18 combinations and General Crescendo.[3] A tape of Latvian composer Lūcija Garūta playing the organ for a cantata during World War II captured the sound of battle nearby.[4]

Boys choirEdit

The Riga Dom Cathedral Boys Choir has performed internationally, recording the Riga Mass by Uģis Prauliņš and other works.[5]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hiden, J (2004) Defender of minorities: Paul Schiemann, 1876-1944, p92
  2. ^ Gerhard Walcker-Mayer Riga Cathedral organ as viewed by Walcker March 2003
  3. ^ Magle, Frederik. "The Walcker Organ in Riga Cathedral". Retrieved 11 July 2007.
  4. ^ Strimple, Nick (2005). Choral Music in the Twentieth Century.
  5. ^ Riga Dom Cathedral Boys Choir

External linksEdit