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Holy Spirit Church of Bauska

Location: N56° 24` 34.3", E24° 10` 59.9"

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The church is the oldest building in Bauska, which was built from 1591.-1594 for a German congregation. Initially the building was without the tower – it was built only in 1614, but in 1623 additional two-stage tower scope with a cupola was built, which has not survived to our days, because it 1813 it had to be demolished, because it was damaged by a lightning strike.  

In 1799 lightning struck the tower, damaging the roof construction. In 1813 new tower was built – a low pyramid type four-sided roof. This kind of a look is still preserved up to today. On the 1st May of 1815 the tower was again struck by lightning, damaging roof tiles, its construction and congregation rooms.

In protocol made in 1839 it is mentioned that the church is much unkept. A wide capital reconstruction was started after the project or Kurzeme architect Friedrich Schoultz that year, which was completed in 1840.

During its long life, church has gently kept evidences about the city history and citizens, has saved an excellent collection of art monuments. Holy Spirit church is a limestone aisle building with a massive rectangle tower, oriented in Southwest-Northeast direction. A narrow easement stays by the tower, which was built in 1633 as a bone chamber.

Altar of the church was made in 1699, but today’s view it obtained in 1861 after the reconstruction, made by artist J.Darling with money, received from the testament of Bauska citizen Johanna Boubet. Part of the altar is covered with valve full of stars, sacristy room is covered with cross valve. But in visualization protocol from 1610 it is mentioned that in the newly built church initially was used altar from St. Gertrud church which was demolished in 1584. The congregation room from the altar was divided by a very massive triumphal arch. Now it is divided only by miniature handrails. Congregation stools are made in the middle of the 17th century and at the beginning of the 18th century. A vivid woodcut can be seen in one of the stools – the oldest Bauska coat of arms with a golden lion on red shield. There are nine tombstones from the 16th century, lined up on the church walls. On the pediment incline were hulking sculptures of Love and Faith allegory in a slug pose.

In 1762 Holy Spirit church got its nowadays golden rococo pulpit which was painted white. The sumptuous corpus adorned with ornaments is based by a foundation adorned with volutes. Rokaya cartridge is attached to the ascent banisters of the pulpit together with the figure of the endowment. Especially sumptuous is the roof, adorned with a stylized Corfu coat of arms and seraphim heads. One artistically most valuable equipment items is the prayer bench with painted portraits of the evangelists on the panels, made in 1688.

Trinity church bell from the 1563 was destroyed in fire in 1733. The bell used to be 65kg heavy. After the II World War there was a bell in the church tower again.

Art historian Muizniece notes that singularity and different phenomenon is the Holy Spirit church’s wooden carvings from Kurzeme sculptures (the 90ties from the 17th century).

Bauska Holy Spirit church was also used as a burial site for landlord, urban citizens and pastors. For about two centuries the church floor was used as a grave for the rich and remarkable church members, covered with tomb stones. There were 12 plates, but up to today there are ten tomb plates left – though very threadbare and barely readable.

Bauska church is a peculiar and unique phenomenon as architectural formation of a protection type in building history of the duchy. There are six pointed tree window boxes in each longer façade.