Russian Orthodox or Birth of Christ Cathedral
The site has still has prices in Lats (LVL), pages are not updated since long long time ago, but in any case it stays as it is as a nice souvenir to old times.
The Birth of Christ...Nativity of Christ...or simply Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
Location: Brīvības bulvāris 23.
Built in 19th century, it is the largest and most grandiose Orthodox cathedral in the Baltics, so don't hesitate to go inside. Its really impressive! There you can meet a lot of Riga's Russian orthodox (latvians are mostly catholic or lutheran).
A lot of gold everywhere, candles, light smell of incense. If you get lucky, you may even hear the bells - that is something awesome! When the cathedral was being built, the authors had to add a bell tower near the entrance, the reason was tsar's Alexander II gift - twelve bells poured out in Moscow (original bells were "evacuated" to Russia when WWI started).
Not so many know that this Russian Orthodox Cathedral has served also as a Lutheran church after the WWI.
But the most creative were soviets: as there was no God in Soviet times (the official religion was atheism), there was no need for a church. In 1960'ies it was altered into a planetarium. It was devided in 2 floors, in the 2nd floor under the big dome a scale model of universe was made, but in the 1st floor was a conference hall and in one of the lateral chancels a cafe was made - it was very beloved by artists and poets, who were calling it "The God's Ear" - because it was so cosy and nice there.
Now it is back to its original idea, after a lot of restoration work.
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