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Riga Cathedral is one of the oldest sacred buildings of the medieval period in Latvia and also the Baltics.
Riga Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Riga Cathedral congregation’s church, a venue of ecumenical services and one of Riga’s organ music centers containing historical, architectural, cultural and artistic heritage of various centuries.
History of Riga Cathedral
The foundation stone of Riga Cathedral was laid in 1211, and a monastery of the Cathedral Chapter of the Riga Diocese and the Riga Cathedral School were built next to the Cathedral soon afterwards.
In the 14th-15th centuries, the church was transformed into a basilica, raising the central nave, constructing the western cross-nave and side chapels, as well as raising the tower to 140 meters, which made it the tallest tower in Riga of that time.
The building of Riga Cathedral combines features of Romanesque, Early Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau styles.
The roosters sitting on the spires of Riga Old City churches are one of the symbols of Riga. Yet the rooster of Riga Cathedral is not just a symbol, it also serves as a weathercock, always facing the wind. The sculpture, weighing 86 kilograms, is about 0.5 meters tall and about 1.3 meters wide. Engraved in its crest is the rooster’s story. The old Cathedral rooster is displayed at the Cathedral’s cloister.