One of Latvia’s largest banks will be funding the final stages of the restoration of St James’s Cathedral in Riga’s Old Town. The work is planned to be completed by the 800th anniversary of the church in 2025.
This church, which was dedicated in 1225, is one of the oldest and most prominent monuments of Gothic architecture in Latvia. It currently serves as the Cathedral of Riga Archdiocese for Catholic practitioners.
In 2016, with support of national government and local authorities, an extensive complex of works on the restoration of the cathedral was launched. Now the facade of the building has been completely renovated, and its roof covering has been replaced. This year, the 270-year-old copper plates covering it were dismantled from the 80-metre tower of the cathedral and replaced with new ones. Moreover, 500 year old wooden constructions in Latvia in the tower have been repaired and, most recently, a restored gilded cockerel was installed on its spire.
At the completion of this reconstruction stage, it is planned to renovate the interior of the tower, restore the operation of historical facade clock mechanism and also install the exterior illumination of the cathedral. For these purposes, Rietumu Bank’s Charity Fund has allocated 30,000 euros.
“We are very pleased that Riga Archdiocese is performing such large-scale works to restore St James’s Cathedral,” explains Inga Shina, Chairperson of the Board of Rietumu Bank’s Charity Fund. “This is an outstanding architectural monument and one of the most beautiful medieval buildings in Riga, forming the characteristic appearance of the Old Town. Upon completion of the restoration, residents and guests of Riga will be able to fully appreciate the grace and splendour of this temple. We will be able to admire this masterpiece of architecture not only during the day, but also after dusk, and check the time according to the medieval gilded clock on the tower of the cathedral.”
Top Image: The cathedral’s tower – Photo by J. Sedols / Wikimedia Commons