Riga – St John’s Church


Church of St. John was built on the site of the medieval manor of the bishop of Riga, Albert. In 1234, bishop Nicholas sold the property to the Dominicans, who built a monastery here, and in 1297 rebuilt the former chapel of the bishop’s manor into a church. It was a Catholic temple until the Reformation, until 1523. Only in the fifteenth century, during the fights between the city and the Teutonic Order, it served as a storehouse of weapons transferred from the bombed castle. After 1523, it belonged to a merchant who transformed church into a stable. In 1582, after the occupation of Riga by the Polish king Stefan Batory, the temple was handed over to the Protestants. The church suffered severely during the great fire of Riga in 1677, then during the Napoleonic wars and for the last time during the Second World War.


The church is a brick, one-nave, an aisleless building with an interior crowned with a magnificent net vault from the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. From the outside, the western façade is decorated with a gothic gable, and the southern wall has large pointed windows.

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