Sunday, August 14, 2011

More photos from Rīga

The weekend is over now, and tomorrow morning the YAPC::EU conference (Yet Another Perl Conference, Europe) begins. We'll be busy for the next three days with the conference, so we won't have much time for sightseeing. Here are some more photos from our trip so far, in chronological order.

A balcony of The Powder Tower and Latvian War Museum:

Jacob a short distance from the central market area:

Views of the Riga central train station, Rīgas centrālā dzelzceļa stacija:


A neighborhood of Communist-era Neubau apartments seen from the train en route back from the beach at Jūrmala:

A street in Vecrīga, old town Riga:

This morning Jacob and I went to church at one of the two Latvian Latter-day Saint (aka Mormon) branches in Rīga. There are also two Russian-language branches here. It was conveniently located just a few blocks from our hotel, on the appropriately named Baznīcas iela (Church Street), though of course named not for the LDS church but rather for Vecā Sv. Ģertrūdes Evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca, the Lutheran St. Gertrude Old Church. The local LDS people were very friendly, and English-speaking missionaries translated for us, an unexpected bonus for our comprehension!

Even nearer to our hotel we stopped in the early evening to see the Kristus Piedzimšanas pareizticīgo katedrāle (Riga Nativity of Christ Orthodox Cathedral). It has had a troubled history. It was built between 1876 and 1884 by decree of Russian Tsar Alexander II, then during World War I was turned into a Lutheran church by the occupying German military. It was restored during Latvia's inter-war independence, and then was turned into a planetarium by Soviet authorities in the early 1960s. It has been recently restored. Here is Jacob's photo of the outside:

It is said to be the largest Orthodox cathedral in the Baltic region. The interior makes quite an impression. There are beautiful icons and murals with various Old Church Slavonic texts. No photography was allowed inside (quite understandable for a church in active use), though printed brochures have some interior photos.

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