Tour of Riga's Churches and Cathedrals, Riga

One great thing about Riga is that many of the city's religious buildings are concentrated in its historical center. A variety of faiths are represented in Riga, although the majority of city residents are Roman Catholic, Orthodox or Lutheran. Explore the historic churches and cathedrals of Riga on this self-guided tour.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Tour of Riga's Churches and Cathedrals Map

Guide Name: Tour of Riga's Churches and Cathedrals
Guide Location: Latvia » Riga (See other walking tours in Riga)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Author: helenp
Old St. Gertrude Church

1) Old St. Gertrude Church (must see)

Located at 6 Ģertrūdes Street, Old St. Gertrude is one of the oldest churches in Riga. It is named after Saint Gertrude of Nivelles who lived between 626 and 659. Before the current, red brick building was constructed, the site was occupied consecutively by seven wooden churches, each named St. Gertrude and burnt down by invading barbarians. The present, Neo-Gothic style edifice was designed by J.D. Felsko, a prolific local architect. Works on the temple started in 1864 and continued until...   view more
Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ

2) Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ (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...   view more
Saint James Catheral

3) Saint James Catheral (must see)

Located in the old part of Riga, on Klostera Street, Saint James' Cathedral (or St. Jacob's Cathedral) is one of the oldest catholic temples in Latvia. The first mention of the church dates back to 1225, although the building itself is believed to have been in place since 1210, when Bishop Albert requested three churches to be built to serve rural parishes. In 1522, it became a Lutheran church, the first one to hold a Lutheran sermon in Latvian, although in 1584 it was given back to...   view more
Riga Cathedral

4) Riga Cathedral (must see)

Riga Cathedral is the oldest religious site in the city and one of the oldest in Latvia. Its foundation stone was laid on July 25th, 1211 by Bishop Albert of Riga. Originally, the church was built in a geometric, Romanesque style and was meant to become a centre of Christianity in the Baltic region. In the 14th-15th centuries it had side chapels and a western cross-nave added, along with the tower walls elevated and an octagonal spire built in. In the following centuries, the cathedral endured...   view more
Saint Peter's Church

5) Saint Peter's Church (must see)

Saint Peter’s Church in Riga appeared in documents for the first time in 1209, as a masonry church that had survived, virtually unscathed, the fire that devastated much of the city that year. Since then, the history of St. Peter’s has been marked by a number of misfortunes, including fires, strikes of lightning and wars, all of which had their toll on the building. The most destructive of them were the lightning of 10 May 1721 and World War II.

Today, the church reflects a mixture of...   view more
Saint John's Church

6) Saint John's Church (must see)

Saint John’s Church is a 13th century temple presumably built by the Dominicans. Its original shape and location are unknown and may only be assumed. Legend has it that two monks were immured in the church's southern wall when it was built and were fed through a hole, which in the Middle Ages was considered a supreme form of asceticism.

After the Dominicans had been expelled from Latvia, the building was passed into private hands and turned into a stable; later on it was even used as...   view more
Reformation Church

7) Reformation Church

The Reformation Church, or the Reformed Church, was built from 1727-1733. This Calvinist church, since its founding, has served as a warehouse, recording studio and, more recently, as a restaurant and concert hall. However, religious services are still held here on...   view more
Church of Jesus

8) Church of Jesus

The Church of Jesus in Riga is a Lutheran temple. Its original building was constructed in 1621 by the Swedes in celebration of their victory over the Russian army. The Russians didn't take long with a vengeance and in 1656 promptly “settled the score” with the Swedish Crown and destroyed the structure. Several more buildings were erected on the site over time, each sharing the fate of the first Church of Jesus. The current wooden building was erected in 1818-1822 to a design by...   view more

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.
Galleries Tour of Riga

Galleries Tour of Riga

Riga, as the cultural capital of Latvia, has a lot to offer art lovers. Artists who display their work in one of Riga's many galleries will surprise you with their beautiful pieces. Take this self-guided tour to discover Riga's best galleries and to enjoy talented local artists.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Culinary Delights Tour of Riga

Culinary Delights Tour of Riga

Riga is a wonderful city for gourmands. Bring some "tasty" souvenirs, such as famous Latvian chocolate, black balsam liqueur, organic honey and candy toys, back home with you. Take this self-guided tour through Riga to experience Latvia's world-renowned culinary delicacies.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Cultural Tour of Riga

Cultural Tour of Riga

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
Museums Tour of Riga, Part 2

Museums Tour of Riga, Part 2

Riga, the capital of Latvia, boasts an amazing array of museums. Items on display include everything from historical artifacts and photography to antiques and modern toys. There is a museum to satisfy almost any interest. Check out the most popular museums in the historic area of Riga on this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

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: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Kid's Entertainment Tour of Riga

Kid's Entertainment Tour of Riga

Riga offers plenty of attractions to capture the interest of your children. Visit parks with interesting statues and fountains, check out the city's fun museums and attend the Riga Circus. Enjoy the best attractions for children in Riga on this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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...