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Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ, Riga

Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ, Riga (must see)

The Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ, also known as simply the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, is a Neo-Byzantine church designed by architect R.Phlug. The cathedral is considered to be the largest orthodox temple in the Baltic region and was erected with the blessing of Alexander II, the Tsar of Russia, between 1876 and 1883. The church features five domes with florid decorations on the exterior, while its interior is embellished with traditional icons, painted by Vasily Vereshchagin, and numerous gold plated items.

Two world wars had their toll on the building. During WWI, when Latvia was under the German occupation, the cathedral was converted into a Lutheran church. In 1918, it was given back to the Russians and, even though the local government wanted to impose Latvian as the main language for religious rituals, the cathedral’s masses were still held in Russian. During World War II, the cathedral was damaged both on the outside and inside, and in the 1960s it was closed down completely, transformed into a planetarium, with its interior refurbished and split into two levels. The upper floor held a scale model of the universe, while the lower was taken up by a conference hall and café.

In 1991, the cathedral was returned to its rightful owners, the Orthodox Russian Church. Since then there has been a profound restoration performed. Today, the building fully resembles the original 1883 look and is used for religious services again.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Riga, Latvia within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ on Map

Sight Name: Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ
Sight Location: Riga, Latvia
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Riga, Latvia

Create Your Own Walk in Riga

Create Your Own Walk in Riga

Creating your own self-guided walk in Riga is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Riga's War Memorials

Riga's War Memorials

Over the years, Riga has many times served as a battleground as evidenced by the many monuments, gates and towers in the city that honor those who suffered or died in conflicts. In addition to war memorials, the city also has numerous landmarks related to Latvia's independence. Take this self-guided tour to discover some of Riga's most notable landmarks.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Vecriga Walk

Vecriga Walk

Riga, the capital of Latvia, is the country's cultural center, home to many museums, theaters and concert venues. It is known particularly for gabled, art nouveau and medieval architecture concentrated in the Old Town (Vecrīga), situated on the east bank of the Daugava River and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vecrīga is also famous for its old churches, among which the most...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Riga without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Riga, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.4 Km or 4.6 Miles
Riga's Specialty Shops

Riga's Specialty Shops

Riga is not only a city with amazing Art Nouveau architecture, a rich cultural life and interesting museums, it is also a great place to shop. Latvia offers so many quality local products, including ceramics, woolens and amber accessories, that it would be a pity not to bring home a gift or souvenir. Take this tour to find some of the best locally-made merchandise in Riga.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Cultural Venues

Cultural Venues

Riga has an extremely diverse cultural life. Locals enjoy attending the opera, classical music concerts, the theater and the cinema. Concerts are frequently held in churches, as is often the tradition in European cities. Take this self-guided tour to immerse yourself in Riga's enchanting culture.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Museums Tour, Part 1

Museums Tour, Part 1

Often the historic area of Riga gets all the attention, as some of the city's most beautiful museums and buildings are located here. This tour, however, will take you not only to Riga's well-known museums but to some of the city's more obscure, yet fascinating museums. Take this self-guided tour to fully explore Riga's fabulous array of museums.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles

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Traveler's Choice of 12 Uniquely Latvian Souvenirs from Riga

Traveler's Choice of 12 Uniquely Latvian Souvenirs from Riga

Reemerged after regaining independence in the early 1990s, Latvia is anxious to reveal its beauty to the outside world. The country's capital Riga is a good showroom for the country's cultural riches and traditions. Here's the list of the unique Latvian products to look for while in...