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2000 | 1 | 37-50

Article title

MONUMENTS OF NEO-GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN LATVIA IN THE EUROPEAN CONTEXT (Neogotikas arhitekturas pieminekli Latvija Rietumeiropas buvmakslas konteksta)


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The spread of Neo-Gothic architecture in Latvia was facilitated by processes that were occurring in the arts in Western Europe, and it remained significant from the mid-18th until the 20th century. Interest in Medieval architecture and art was first demonstrated in Great Britain, so the Gothic revival in that country has been chosen as the context for an analysis of the most distinguished Neo-Gothic monuments in Latvia. The description of some specific objects in Latgale includes a brief look at this area of the construction art in Poland. The earliest surviving applications of Neo-Gothic elements in Latvian architecture date back to the first quarter of the 19th century (the Mazstraupe castle, the Kalsnava and Pure churches, etc.). Small Neo-Gothic constructions were found in parks of baronial estates (the viewing tower of the Medze estate, the chapel of the Svitene estate, etc.). In the second half of the 19th century, Neo-Gothicism was already popular throughout Latvia, and stylistically unified buildings and ensembles of buildings appeared (a reconstruction of the Medieval Edole castle, and the earliest example of Tudor Neo-Gothicism - the castle of the Vecauce estate). Until the mid-19th century, Neo-Gothic architecture in Latvia was found largely in the castles of baronial estates (the castle of the Odziena estate, the Aluksne estate), but beginning with the third quarter of the 19th century, there was a boom in the construction of Neo-Gothic churches (Old St. Gertrude's Church in Riga, St. Trinity Church in the Sarkandaugava neighborhood of Riga, St. Paul's Church in Riga, etc.). New St. Gertrude's Church in Riga and the Garsene church in Augszeme (Courland) were designed similarly to the asymmetrical composition of the Daugavpils Lutheran church - a building that is an early and innovative example from the broader perspective - e.g., when we compare it to churches in Northeastern Poland. One of the most distinguished Neo-Gothic churches not only in Latvia but in the entire Baltic region is the Liksna church - a modern building that was designed with various Gothic elements in it.


  • Janis Zilgalvis, State Inspection for Heritage Protection, Maza Pils iela 19, Riga LV-1050, Latvia


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Publication order reference


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