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Tower of St.Trinity church in Jelgava

Photo: Rolands Bartasevics.
 The historical record of 1522 testifies that there was a small wooden church in the place of the current tower of the Holy Trinity Church. In 1574 Gotthard Kettler, the Duke of Courland and Semigallia, ordered a new masonry church to be built, believed to have been designed by Dutch building master Joris Joriszn Frese.

A huge contribution in the building of the church was made by the Duke’s wife Anne from Mecklenburg who financed construction work as well as the interior design.

The main church building and part of the tower were built from 1574 to 1575. During these years the tower’s bells and the first clock were installed. The construction of the tower was completed in 1688 by the architect Martin Knoch. The tower reached 49.68 meters and it was covered with a pyramidal roof.

In 1862, the tower was raised under the guidance of the architect Emil Strauss, and its height together with a gilded cross reached 80.5 meters.

During World War II the city of Jelgava was almost destroyed including the Holy Trinity Church, which suffered heavy damage. In 1954 the Soviet army blasted the ruins of the church building, leaving only the tower for military needs.

The tower was covered with a glass roof in 2004. It currently stands 50.17 metres high, and the original design of the architect Martin Knoch has been preserved in its shape. Since 1998, the Holy Trinity Church tower has been included in the list of culture heritage monuments protected by the state.

After more than 60 years the church tower was reborn on November 16, 2010, financed by the European Union. Right now it attracts local people and visitors as a place to discover many new things, enjoy delicious meals and relaxation.

9th floor – Exhibition hall and sightseeing platform
Various art pieces are presented in the exhibition hall. The sightseeing platform offers a panorama of the whole city of Jelgava.

8th floor – Restaurant
Exquisite meal – prepared in the best tradition to be enjoyed in a historical atmosphere.

5th floor - History display “Zemgale folk costume”
The display shows the history of the national costumes of Zemgale. Visitors are invited to discover the richness of colors and ornaments in costumes and to have an insight into the costume making process.

4th floor - History display “Jelgava and the Holy Trinity Church in the change of epochs”
The historical display presents Jelgava over five time periods and archaeological materials from the tower’s reconstruction in 2009 and 2010. Visitors can travel through the old Holy Trinity Church with the help of touch screens, appreciating it from inside and outside.

3rd floor - History Display “Zemgale – a cradle of Latvian presidents”
The display is dedicated to the first four Latvian presidents that all were born here in Zemgale as well as to the city’s residents that have received Jelgava City and Latvia State awards.

1st floor - Tourist information centre
Comprehensive information about tourism possibilities in Jelgava city, Jelgava and Ozolnieki counties – brochures, tourism routes, consultations etc. Here you can find a wide selection of Jelgava souvenirs.

The Holy Trinity Church Tower yard
There is a fountain sculpted by Jānis Aivars Karlovs in the former central nave of The Holy Trinity Church. The fountain “Trinity” is a symbol of the most important core values in Christianity – the union of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Source: latvia.lv
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