European best destinations 2024 - Riga

Old St. Gertrude's Church

This magnificent Eclectic and Neo-Gothic church is one of the few historic churches outside the Old Town. In the Middle Ages, the name of St. Gertrude (626-659), the patron saint of travellers, was given to churches located outside the city walls.

The name of the church was first mentioned at the beginning of the 15th century. The church building suffered several damages during various wars and changes of power – it was destroyed and then rebuilt seven times during its existence. The present church building was consecrated in 1869, its architect was Johann Daniel Felsko.

From 1767 to 1769, Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744–1803), a prominent Weimar poet, philosopher and theologian, served as a clergyman in St. Gertrude's Church. Now a square in the Old Town is named after him. On 17 May 1769, he delivered his farewell sermon in this church, which is also included in Herder's collected writings.

At the beginning of the 20th century, New St. Gertrude's Church was built within a short distance from the old church. It is regarded as one of the last Eclecticism-style buildings erected in Riga. Since then, the name of St. Gertrude's Church was supplemented by the word "Old". Today, it belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church. From time to time it hosts classical music concerts. 


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