Riga Cathedral Set Up For Winter

The restoration measures implemented at Riga Cathedral this Autumn would allow the church to meet the Spring whatever the weather would come. At the moment restoration has moved inside the building, and already on Christmas visitors shall have possibilities to observe the unique Cathedral’s stained glass anew.

To listen to the builders report on the course of restoration works and to examine the completed works Nils Ušakovs, Chairman of the Board of Riga City Council, Andris Ameriks, his Deputy and Jānis Vanags, Archbishop of Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church on December 1 together visited Riga Cathedral.

Construction company RE&RE continues the restoration works at Riga Cathedral commenced in Summer to preserve the building that has witnessed 800 years of our history.. Technical design development provides for architectural and artistic auditing, engineering survey and elaboration of accurate Technical Design by 2012.

At the moment following works have been performed at Riga Cathedral: restoration of wooden structures of middle volume on the South side is almost complete and the tin laying works have been commenced; structurally unstable oak balustrade of the Cathedral’s tower clock gallery has been dismantled; also facade masonry and plaster conservation and restoration works have been performed.

“Every slight carelessness may lead to loss of cultural value therefore special attention is given to compatibility of the old and modern materials. We have to admit that the medieval brick-kilns lacked common quality standards – it is demonstrated by considerably varied masonry work,” admits Didzis Putniņš, Director General of RE&RE.

High grade timber has been used for temporary roof supports and restoration of wooden elements. It has been applied using 300 years old original method. Paying respect to the historical idea there have also been changes applied to the facade aiding the access to the building for handicapped. At the time of construction of Riga Cathedral the street level of the city was lower for several meters. That has been taken into account adapting the heritage site to modern situation.

Until 2012 construction company RE&RE shall perform restoration works in the antique premises – Chapter Hall, Baptistery, Sacristy – and shall also revive the initial appearance of the facade masonry. Riga Cathedral is included in the list of 100 most endangered historical sites by Latvian State Inspection for Heritage Protection.

The team of RE&RE has demonstrated its capacity as high-level professionals, restoring such significant cultural sites as Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theater, Riga Stock Exchange building now serving as Museum of Foreign Arts, Saeima (Parliament) Building, Craftsmen Guild (Mazā Ģilde), Benjamiņi Mansion, Cēsis Castle, Latvian National Theater etc.