The cross and ball of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John in the city of Cesis, which had been restored for four months, as well as the decorative elements associated with them that were dismantled and transferred for restoration on April 8, 2019, were returned to the peak of the tower of the historic church today (August 23).
The decorative elements of the church (trefoils of the cross, the foundations of towers, balls of finials and the large ball) were restored by the blacksmith Peters Korols, who has been working at AS “Būvuzņēmums Restaurators” for many years. He is the one who once made a cockerel for the tower of the Riga Dome Cathedral, and after 30 years participated in its restoration works. In turn, gilding in the amount of 19.32 square meters was carried out by the restorer of the enterprise, Inese Ozolina and her assistant Raimonds Karveckis. It is noteworthy that Inese Ozolina also gilded the cockerel of the Riga Dome Cathedral several years ago.
During the dismantling of the cross, in a ball shot through 67 times, a time capsule was discovered. Three paper scrolls written in the mid-19th century were found in it. Due to the fact that the capsule itself was also shot twice, there were doubts about the integrity of its contents. However, the master who produced the capsule made sure that the written evidence would be well preserved, so that historians were able to decipher what was written.
This tradition is respected and continued. During the solemn event organized by the church, those present could see how three messages were placed in the time capsule for future generations – from the municipality of Cesis, from the church parish, as well as from the AS “Būvuzņēmums Restaurators” enterprise, which is currently carrying out restoration and renewal works in the church.
Capsule was carefully sealed by its manufacturer – a blacksmith from Cesis Janis Martinsons. Representatives of the restoration enterprise, in their turn, raised it to the peak of the tower and placed it in a gilded ball of the cross. There the capsule will be stored until one day it is opened.
(Author of photos of installation of the cross and the ball is Uldis Skroders)
All the three messages are very different. The text of the message of the representatives of the church is a “letter to future generations” informing about the most outstanding events in the life of the parish in 2019. It also includes some statistics and other information about the routine activities of the flock. “We hope and believe that our church of St. John will continue to be a place where the Christian community will gather with strong faith, and these are our followers who will open this message,” the letter from the parish ends.
Representatives of the municipality of Cesis left information for future generations in the format of flash memory. There is the most important data about what characterizes Cesis of today – in numbers, photographs and achievements. An appeal and the wish of the Chairman of the Cesis District Council Janis Rosenbergs in the written form is added to this.
The “message of restorers” prepared by representatives of AS “Būvuzņēmums Restaurators”, in its turn, contains the most important information on the executors of restoration and renewal works (designers, construction managers, as well as individual craftsmen and enterprises involved in the work process) in the church in the written form.
Restoration is carried out within the framework of the joint project involving eight partners “Culture, History, Architecture in the Bends of Gauja and Time” (“Kultūra, vēsture, arhitektūra Gaujas un laika lokos”). Stage I of the project of restoration of St. John’s Church in Cesis is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), co-financing is provided by the municipality of Cesis district and the parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John in Cesis. Total restoration costs are projected up to EUR 1.7 million, of which EUR 1.38 million is ERDF funding.