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St. Peter's Church (Latvian: Svētā Pētera Evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca) is a Lutheran church in Riga, the capital of Latvia, dedicated to Saint Peter. It is a parish church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia.
A Tour Inside St. Peter's Church
TThe more than 130 meters tall Gothic tower was completed at the end of the 15th century, but already in 1666 it collapsed. In 1690, a new tower was built in the Baroque style, with several domes and galleries, being the highest wooden construction in the world at the time. In 1721, a lightning struck the tower and it burned down. At the decree of Russian Tsar Peter I the tower was renovated. The church was also demolished and the tower burned down during World War II. In 1967, renovation of the tower began. This time a metal construction with an elevator was built so that the galleries can be used as sightseeing platforms. The tower is 123.25 meters high, and visitors are taken to the second gallery at the height of 72 meters.
Starting from the 15th century up to 1941, there had been a total of six wind vanes – roosters. The first rooster was bent by a storm, the second was blown down from the steeple, the third was removed because the storm had damaged it, the fourth rooster fell down in the church yard during a storm, the fifth one collapsed, while the sixth rooster had been repaired, but came down when the tower collapsed. In 1970, a new rooster was erected, it was renovated and gilded for the 800th anniversary of the church
St Peter's Church was built in 1209, but just some walls and some pillars have remained from that time. Initially it was a small hall, possibly with a separate bell tower. The current basilica was created during renovations in the 15th century. The church hall leaves a grand impression, the middle part of it reaches a height of 30 meters. The altar part with five chapels demonstrates verticality of the Gothic style and fine profiles. In 1997 Riga St Peter's Church was included on UNESCO's World Heritage list.
How to Get Tickets?
To emter the church is free. You just need the ticket to go to the tower or go to the art exhibition inside. The ticket office is open everyday. The prices are: Adults: EUR 9.00 Students (with supporting documentation): EUR 7.00 Students (school age): EUR 3.00 Children (up to 7 years old) entrance free of charge.
How To Get Around?
You can go around by foot or rent bycycles to have a city tour of Riga.
What Should I Wear?
To have some tour around St. Peter's Church, there is no fixed dress code that you need to follow. Just wear something comfortable for you to have a tour around the building. Also, wear a comfortable shoes so that you can walk around the complex in comfort.
Best Time to Visit
You can visit St. Peter's Church anytime from 7.00 am to 18.00 everyday. But if you want to go up to the tower and take pictures of Riga from above, better not to come early in the morning because you'll face the sun and will not get best results of the photos.
Will I Need a Guide?
No. It is very easy to go around the church by yourself.
How To Get There?
The church is located in the heart of Riga's Old City, within easy walking distance of many tourist hotels and the main train station