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Ventspils Evangelical Lutheran Church

Location: N57° 23` 46.7", E21° 34` 3.58"

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Ventspils Niholay’s church is located in Ventspils city, and it was built in 1834-1835. The construction works were done by Riga bricklayer foreman Hulla. The church was built with a financial support from Nicholas I of Russia; therefore the name of the church is derived from the name Nicholas.

In 1566 Bulow announced to the duke that there is a small wooden church in Ventspils. In 1609 the church was almost in ruins. It is known that in 1610 the church with the wooden tower was again completed. In 1651 the tower was badly damaged and pulled down. In 1718 the church collapsed. The palace chapel which was renewed and expanded in 1706 was used as a temporary solution. 

An outline for the new church was put in 1718. It went for more than 100 years, until the unfinished stone walls collapsed. In the beginning of 1834 it was demolished and new outline for the new church was started to construct. The church building was completed in 29th September, 1835, and was consecrated. The Orthodox congregation was given the old Lutheran church premises above the palace entrance. To expand the space planned for the church, the chapel was divided in two floors. Church services in All Saints Church did not stop after the completion of the new St. Nicholas church – they were active up to the WW I. Alexey Lavrov who was the priest congregated by the highly blessed Filaret was the first priest of the All Saints Church. 

It is know that the church did not suffer during the war. 

The dimensional structure of the church is made by longitudinal three nave congregation room, which is connected with a tower and rectangle apse. The façade of the main entrance is decorated with four ionic column porticos. Clock dial is placed in all four portal entablature on the second floor of the tower. The clock which was made in Vermanis fabric in 1836 was given as a gift from Consul K. D. Hercvih. The naves are covered with horizontal ceiling. Altar has been built as a construction of Corinthian order. Portal motive has been used in tower solution – on the middle floor, above which there is a terrace with iron railing, intended for city overview. Its middle part is occupied with a lantern with spherical roof dome. The columns are holding an interrupted entablature and a ledge covered with denticulos. On the upper part – Gloria with two angels praying by the cross. The altar is surrounded by turned baluster barrier. The church interior is more complicated and looks more luxurious than the outer solution. Above the entrance there is an organ gallery built from round columns, with a bend barrier, and turned baluster are inserted in the railing.  

Nikolay’s church represents a serial list of churches in Latvian sacral architecture, where the late classicism is presenting its logical and rational approach.
At the beginning of the 19th century a lot of Latvians joined the Orthodox religion. The congregation was growing and the small church did not have room for all the worshipers. It was decided to build a new church in the city.