The Roerichs and the Dom Cathedral in Riga
Two paintings by
Nicholas Roerich are dedicated to the Dom Cathedral in Riga: The Inside of the
Dom Cathedral (see photo below) and The Dom Cathedral (1903).
On the left you see the painting, “The Inside of the Dom Cathedral” (1903) by N.
On the right you see a present-day photograph of the view depicted in the painting.
A Short History of the Dom Cathedral
The construction of the Dom Cathedral began in the year
1211. Bishop Albert of Riga dedicated this place as his new residence.
The cathedral has been rebuilt on numerous occasions, during a period of hundreds of years, and many architectual styles can be seen: romanesque, gothic, renaissance, baroque, as well as other styles. The architectual forms of the cathedral are strikingly simple, which is what creates the majestic and, at the same time, awesome look of its outer shape.
The first known organ in the Dom was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1547. A newer organ was built at the end of the 16th century, and this sounded for 280 years. The present organ in the Dom is more than a hundred years old, and was built by German craftsmen. The organ has two keyboards, enabling the playing of compositions written for two organs. This organ has been registered as the largest and, technically, most modern in the world, with its 6718 wood and metal pipes, arranged in 124 different voices.
The Dom Cathedral in Riga is the most important centre of spiritual culture in Latvia whilst, at the same time, constituting an incredible artistic and architectual monument. Organ concerts, Sunday public worship, and many international spiritual musical events are held there. The large number of visitors to the Dom shows that it is one of the most popular cultural objects for both the local people and for tourists to Latvia.