Latvian government grants 300,000 euros for Rīga church tower

Latvia's cabinet on September 3 decided to award the sum of 300,000 euros to St Jēkabs (Jacob's) Roman Catholic cathedral in Rīga for the restoration of the church's spire.

The money will come from the Ministry of Culture, from the fund for unforeseen circumstances  and is based on costs of a project developed by AIG Ltd. for the restoration of Jacob's Cathedral envisages the preservation and restoration of the church tower including repair of wooden structures of the tower, restoration and replacement of metal coverings.

The Cathedral of St. Jacob Roman Catholic Church with its complex of buildings is an architectural monument of national importance and an integral part of the iconic Rīga skyline. The cathedral was built in 1225 and is the Roman Catholic Riga Metropolitan Cathedral of the Riga Archdiocese and the archbishop's residence in Old Riga.

According to the website of the Roman Catholic church in Latvia work on the restoration started in 2017 and is ongoing, and by the end of 2019 it is planned to complete the restoration of the power supply of the cathedral loft and the tower and the installation of fire alarms. 

“This year, the restoration of the spiral staircase leading to the tower, as well as the reinforcement of the eastern pedestal, will be completed. There will be a disabled toilet next to the right side of the cathedral. In August, the roof repair and restoration work on the cathedral tower began, and is scheduled to be completed in 2020,” Alexandrs Manakovs, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Curia of the Riga metropolis, said.

However, the restoration works will not end there either, as the overall restoration project of Jacob's Cathedral is divided into 13 rounds. 

"Each year, a milestone is made throughout this major project, given the amount of funding available. Within the next two to three years, depending on the funding available, it is planned to continue the restoration of the interior of the cathedral, the reconstruction of the heating system, power supply and fire alarm system, the repair and restoration of the organ and the restoration of the clock," the website said. adding that "The entire restoration project is carried out with the support of donors and with the support of the state and Riga City Council."

As previously reported by LSM, last year Pope Francis visited the church as part of a one-day visit to Latvia that also drew on the state's fund for unseen events to the tune of €1.16 million.

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