St. James's Cathedral, Riga
|St James' Cathedral|
|The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint James the Greater|
Svētā Jēkaba katedrāle
The tower of St. James's Cathedral
|Previous denomination||Roman Catholic (1225-1552; 1582-1621)|
Lutheran (1552-1582; 1621-1923)
|Status||Cathedral & Parish church|
|Dedication||St James the Greater|
|Heritage designation||State Protected Cultural Monument|
|Designated||18 December 1998|
|Length||50 m (164 ft 1 in)|
|Width||24 m (78 ft 9 in)|
|Number of spires||1|
|Spire height||91.64 m (300 ft 8 in)|
St James's Cathedral (Latvian: Svētā Jēkaba katedrāle, German: Jakobskirche) is the Roman Catholic cathedral of Riga in Latvia. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint James the Greater. The building is part of the Old Riga UNESCO World Heritage Site and lies directly opposite the House of the Livonian Noble Corporation, the meeting place of Latvia's parliament the Saeima.
The church is sometimes misleadingly called St. Jacob's. The confusion arises because English, unlike most languages, uses different names for the Old Testament name Jacob and the New Testament name James.
The church building was dedicated in 1225. It was not originally a cathedral since the Rīgas Doms served that function. At the beginning of the 15th century the Holy Cross Chapel was built at the south end of the early Gothic church, and part of the church was transformed into a basilica.
In 1582 it was given to the Jesuits as part of the Counter-Reformation when Stephen Báthory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth gained control of Riga. In 1621 it was returned to the Lutherans after Gustav II Adolf of Sweden occupied Riga. At various times it served as a Swedish language, German language, or Estonian language Lutheran church. After the Russian occupation of 1710, the church was named The Crown Church however religions services in the German language were allowed to continue. In 1812 it was used as a storehouse for flour bags and other food supplies by Napoleon's troops. During that time, from June to November 1812, the congregation held services at St Peter's Church.
In 1901 the oldest Baroque altar in Riga, from 1680, was replaced by a new one. Following the 1923 Latvian church property referendum, the building was given back to the Catholics for use as their cathedral since the Rīgas Doms was now an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral. The first Catholic mass was held on 3 May 1924 by the Catholic Archbishop of Riga Antonijs Springovičs. The catholic parish of St James was created by Archbishop Antonijs Springovičs on April 18, 1947. This establishment of the parish was intended to be national congregation without a specific territory, consisting of Latvian Catholics in and around Riga, as well as English and French Catholics.
From St. Peter's Church steeple