Liepāja Holy Trinity cathedral
Location: N56° 30` 35.3", E21° 0` 48.22" | Website: trinitatis.lv/language/lv/
Liepāja Holy Trinity cathedral is a building with cultural and historical meaning, and Lutheran church in Liepāja city. It is considered to be the most luxurious and monumental building in Liepāja. The cathedral was build from 1742 to 1758 in late baroque style with signs of classicism. On the 5th December, 1758, the cathedral was consecrated. It was the church of Liepāja German Lutheran congregation.
Baroque characteristic decorative splendour and picturesque is mostly dominating in the building, including light and shadow contrasts. Inner interior is more described by rococo style with complicated ornaments where it is possible to notice seashell and coral motives characteristic for rococo style. 13m high altar, confession stool and pulpit can be seen inside of the cathedral, and Kurzeme duke box is located on the second floor. These rococo style objects are important with their wooden carvings and gilt. Cathedral is famous with its organ. In 1741 burgomaster Schmit proposes to build a new church in Liepāja. In 1741 land from Peter Muller is being bought in Liepāja, Lielā Street. Bricklayer foreman Johan Christophe Dorn from Konigsberg arrives in 8th March, 1742. Foundation stone of the cathedral is put in 19th July, 1742, but in spring of 1746 church receives a roof with temporary mulch. A vaulting was built in 1747, but in 1750 all the stone works are completed. In 1753 the roof is covered with Swedish copper plates – copper tin. The cathedral construction is completed and consecrated on 5th December, 1758.
Initially J.H. Joachin installed organ with 36 registers. But the building was not completely done – tower was missing two upper floors, but from the interior only thing that was painted and gilded was the pulpit. The interior was started to pulpit in 1772, but the finishing works were completed until 1775. In August of 1779 organ constructor Heinrich Andreas Contius hands in the new organ with 38 registers.
First important reconstruction of the building was from 1865 to 1866. According to the initial project, two upper floors were build in the tower, it became for around 55m higher, and the church clock mechanism was installed in the tower on 1906. Church interior was changed, separate side galleries were demolished, sacristy behind the altar was destroyed and the new sacristy was built, heating was installed and the façade was covered with cement grout. In 1885 B. Greeneberg from Szczecin enlarges the organ to 131 register, making them the biggest organ in the world. Today these organs are the biggest original mechanical organ in the world with more than 7000pipes and 131 register, and the only organ where the original Heinrich Andreac Contius pipes are still sounding. Steam central heating and electrical lightning was installed at the beginning of the 20th century.
There is a memory plate for Finnish jaegers in the cathedral, which were serving German Empire, but in 1918 swore their faithfulness in legitimate Finnish government, and afterwards participated in Finnish civil war.
The congregation is located in Grobiņa dean district of Latvian Lutheran church. The dean of Grobiņa district is Ainārs Jaunskalže. Today every day there are church services in Holy Trinity Cathedral. The congregation is led by Holy Trinity cathedral dean Pēteris Kalks. It is possible for the visitors to climb the church tower, where a vide view over the city appears. On the second floor there still is the balcony of duke of Kurzeme.