After 150 Years Gertrude’s Fleurons are Restored

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Today Evangelical-Lutheran Old St. Gertrude church is perceived mainly as a religious building by ones, as a historical monument of architecture by others, but some people just use it as a handy landmark in Riga. However, it would be a great difficulty to find at least one person in Latvia who did not know the location of St. Gertrude Old Church in Riga. This building is an integral and important part of architectural history of the capital of Latvia.

Restored Fleurons of St. Gertrude Church

St. Gertrude Old Church is located on a small octagonal square on 8 Gertrudes Street. Extant building was built in 1864-1866, but the first mention of the church of Riga, where travelers prayed before a long road (Saint Gertrude is regarded as the patron saint of travellers), dates back to the beginning of the XV century. The church had been burned down and destroyed for several times, then it was rebuilt again, until finally it acquired its present form of three-nave pseudobasilica, built in eclectic style with elements of neo-Gothic.

150 years ago, when the current church was built, hardly anyone thought that once there will be a need of its restoration. But such a need became apparent, when one of the decorative concrete finials with a fleuron disposed thereon fell from the roof of the church.

The Poor Condition of the Fleurons of St. Gertrude Church

In 2008, AS “Būvuzņēmums Restaurators” began dismantling the fleurons, which decorated the Old Gertrude, but were in absolute disrepair. Their recovery occurred in three phases and was funded by both contributions of individuals, and means of the EU structural funds. Works on all these stages have been entrusted to AS “Būvuzņēmums Restaurators”, whose staff accomplished the task responsibly and creatively. 67 new fleurons and finials were produced. They are lighter and stronger than the previous ones, but they precisely replicate the form of the original décor (there are six different forms of fleurons at the St. Gertrude’s Church). By mid-2015 all of the decorations have been installed in their place.

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