The Cathedral is the monument of the late Baroque era. Its foundation stone was laid on July 19, 1742 and it was devoted to the Holy Trinity. On December 5, 1758 the church was consecrated. But it was not complete just yet – the tower was missing last two floors. In 1866 the third and fourth floor of the tower was built and the tower became almost 55 metres high. In 1960 the façade of the building was plastered with concrete.
Before the entrance into the cathedral, in the upper part of the portal the coat of arms of Liepāja is depicted and on the left side of the doorway the sculpture “Faith”. Since 1996 the second sculpture “Love” has been moved from the right side of the doorway to the church anteroom. In the anteroom you can also see two medallions – one is dedicated to the completion of the church and on it is a text “Because the Lord protected me, the iron block neither hit me, nor grazed me” in white letters on a black background, the second medallion is dedicated to the completion of the tower.
Inside the cathedral the biggest altar in Latvia is situated, its decorative raised part is 13 metres high. In the centre of the altar the Holy Trinity is portrayed. The pulpit was made in the 50s of the 18th century by wood carver Josef Slaviček, the gold plating works were done by Johann Endress. The confessional still has its original glazing and handle which reminds of a dolphin. The Duke’s box was made in the 60s of the 18th century in honour of Ernest Johann von Biron, the Duke of Kurzeme (Courland) and it has the oldest sliding windows in Latvia.
In the eastern part of the façade the four stained glass windows made in 1870 can be viewed. The author of the sketches is Fridrihs Gotlibs Spehr, a drawing teacher in Liepāja. One of the most valuable treasures of the cathedral is the organ – famous for its size, history, visual image and musical quality. In the beginning the organ made by Johann Heinrich Joachim had 36 stops. Heinrich Andreas Contius rebuilt the organ till 1779, and the new instrument had 38 stops. Till 1885 the organ experienced a further development, when Barnim Grȕneberg from Stettin completes the organ extension to 131 independent voices and the organ becomes the biggest organ in the world. It preserved this status till 1912 when in Hamburg a bigger instrument was built in Michael’s Church. The status of the world’s largest mechanical organ still belongs to the organ of Liepāja Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Liepāja Holy Trinity Church Renovation Fund, takes care of the cathedral renovation. More info: www.trisvienibasfonds.lelb.lv