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Cesis St. John's Evangelical Lutheran ChurchCesis St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
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Cesis St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Cēsu Sv. Jāņa baznīca, Cēsis, Baznīca, Gotika

Cesis St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church

Code: V-2078
Author: Aivars Gulbis
Photo taken on August 21, 2020
FREE 1000 x 1000 px
72 dpi
148 KB
S 1165 x 1165 px
9.87 x 9.87 cm / 300 dpi
MB
M 2000 x 2000 px
16.93 x 16.93 cm / 300 dpi
L 5476 x 5476 px
46.36 x 46.36 cm / 300 dpi
15.4 MB

St. John’s Church is the second most notable architectural feature in Cēsis (along with the Cēsis castle complex), one of the oldest medieval monuments and one of the oldest cult buildings in the country. The church was built at the beginning of the 13th century as Christianity advanced into the Baltic, to serve the needs of the Livonian Order. Because Cēsis was the residence of the Order, Cēsis then became one of the most important centres of the German authorities in the Baltic States. The threshold of the church is exactly 100 metres above the sea level.

The organ is one of the largest historical concert organ in Latvia and sixth in size in the country. The organ has 41 registers, three-manuals and a pedal. The church altarpainting is the masterpiece of the famous Estonian artist Johann Köhler.

Nowadays it is a place of worship, and it also serves a concert venue for choirs and organists, as well as hosts festivals. The evangelical Lutheranic congregation functions in the church. It is possible to book a guided tour. Visitors can climb up to the tower of the church and enjoy a wonderful view over the Old town. Fridays and Saturdays at 20.00, 21.00, 22.00 and 23.00 the church shines in glorious colors in a musical performance that is worth enjoying for every Cesis resident and city guest. The lighting of the church can be observed until October 31.
turisms.cesis.lv


St. John’sChurch is one of the oldest medieval architectural monuments in Latvia. Church was built in the beginning of 13th century during the Christianization of Baltic’s for the purposes of the Livonian Holy Order because residence of the order was located in Cēsis; therefore Cēsis became one of the most important German power centers in the Baltic’s from 1237 up to 1561.

Cēsis St. John’s Church is the largest medieval basilica outside Riga. Church is 65 m long and 32 m wide three sphere basilica, in the western part it is being introduced by the massive 65 m high bell-tower with 15 m high Gothic spire. There are 1000 seats provided in the church.

A range of interesting historical and art monuments have remained intact in the church up to the modern days and majority of them have been included in the list of State protected cultural heritage monuments.

Already from the first half of the 19th century church have attracted attention as a historical and architectural monument.

Nowadays world renowned chorus and organ music virtuous perform there. Church has become a home for the International new organ player’s festival. Also painters value the church; different art exhibitions take place there.

The Blue hill that is at a distance of 40 km from the church can be seen from the church tower.

Doorstep of the church is located exactly 100 meters above the sea level.
www.latvia.travel

HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
From 1237 to 1561 Cēsis developed into one of the major centres of German power in the Baltic, as it became the capital of the Livonian Order and its Master’s residence. The church was built in the 13th century, as Christianity advanced into the Baltic, to serve the needs of the Livonian Order. At first services were held in the chapel of the Castle, but as the city grew in importance it became necessary to build a respectable masonry church—in those days the church building was used to symbolise the city’s power and its wealth.

 The church was constructed in four years from 1283 to 1287, during the reign of the second archbishop of Rīga, Johann von Lunen, under the direction of the Order’s Master, Wilken von Endorp. It was consecrated as the Cathedral of the Livonian Order on 24 June 1284 and is named after St. John the Baptist.

 Under one of the most notable Masters of the Livonian Order, Walter von Plettenberg, Cēsis became one of the first centres of the Lutheran Reformation in Livonia. He was instrumental in the church starting to preach in an evangelical manner in 1524. However, Poland-Lithuania gained control over most of Livonia, including Cēsis, in 1582 during the Livonian War. Soon the Counterreformation began and King Stephen Bathory established the Catholic Bishopric of Cēsis with St. John’s as its Cathedral.

 The most active workers in the Counterreformation were Jesuits, and their colleges were located in Rīga and Cēsis. Erdmann Tolgsdorff, a member of the Jesuit College, translated Peter Canisius’ Catholicorum Catechismus into Latvian, and was buried in St. John’s in 1620. Georg Elger, was a catholic priest in Cēsis from 1615 to 1621, and compiled the first Catholic Hymn Book in Latvian. Two bishops, Andreas Patricius Nidecki (1583-1587) and Otto Schenking (1587-1621), who worked here are also buried in the Cathedral.

 After the Swedish–Polish War Livonia became the property of Sweden. In 1627 King Gustav II Adolph gifted the former Catholic Bishopric, including the City of Cēsis and St. John’s Church, to Sweden’s Lord High Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna. The Swedes began to eradicate all traces of the Counterreformation, reintroduced the Lutheran faith and campaigned against the residual paganism of the local inhabitants. Under the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, following the Great Northern War, Livonia became a province of Russia until Latvia gained its independence in 1919.

 Fires ravaged the city and damaged the church in 1568, 1607, 1640, 1665, 1671, 1694, 1746, and 1748. The army of Tsar Ivan the Terrible even used the church as a stable for horses during the Livonian War in 1577. The present 65-metre high church tower in neo-gothic style and was built during 1853, under the direction of a Latvian, Mārcis Podiņš-Sārums. The church suffered considerable damage again during World War II—the explosion of a munitions train in 1941 destroyed 56 stained glass widows and part of the roof, and a bomb in 1944 destroyed part of the roof and vaults in the southern aisle and damaged the organ and organ loft.
cesujana.lelb.lv

Cesis St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church

Code: V-2078
Author: Aivars Gulbis
Photo taken on August 21, 2020
FREE 1000 x 1000 px
72 dpi
148 KB
S 1165 x 1165 px
9.87 x 9.87 cm / 300 dpi
MB
M 2000 x 2000 px
16.93 x 16.93 cm / 300 dpi
L 5476 x 5476 px
46.36 x 46.36 cm / 300 dpi
15.4 MB
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