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St. Catherine Church in Kuldīga

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saint Catherine (Katrīna) is Kuldīga's oldest house of God and one of the oldest buildings in the town. On 29 December 1967, the church was granted the status of a state-protected architectural monument. 

The church that stood in this location as early as in 1252, was later replaced by a new building. The altar is decorated by mannerism style woodcarvings. Duke Jacob was christened in this church, and later married to Princess Charlotte Louise of Brandenburg. A legend tells about a pious girl Katrīna who saved money to build a church in the town. She was, however, slandered and put to death on the wheel for her contacts with the devil himself.

After her death she was recognised innocent and declared a saint.  The church and the parish were named in her honour. In a martyr's crown, and with a wheel and a sword in her hand, Katrīna has been depicted in the medallion above the entrance. This is also the current coat of arms of the town of Kuldīga.  St. Catherine's Church, like the majority of Kurzeme churches of those days, presents a contrast between a heavy austere façade and a magnificent interior. The interior details have been designed heavy proportions: sturdy, short columns rest on high, wide bases.

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