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2006 | 5 | 5-14

Article title

A HISTORY OF ST. SAVIOUR'S LUTHERAN CHURCH IN SUBATE: ASPECTS OF THE CONCEPT OF THE IDEAL PROTESTANT TEMPLE IN THE 17TH CENTURY (Subates luteranu baznicas buvvesture un 17. gadsimta ideala protestantu dievnama koncepcijas aspekti tas arhitektoniskaja


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This is a short insight into the origin and creation of a unique architectural object in Latvia, which demonstrates the characteristic Dutch style of the 2nd half of the 17th century. St. Saviour's church itself is a rectangular building, almost a square. The configuration of the structure is typical of the 17th century Calvinist temples of central planning in Holland. The characteristic architectural features do not have any analogue among the other architectural monuments of Latvia: the compact form of the building is crowned by a high roof, and its tendency towards a central plan is emphasized by four small turrets - one at each corner - as well as a fifth on the ridge of the roof. The walls are rhythmically divided by colossal order pilasters. The main decorative element that enriches the generally quite severe architectural image is the framing of the windows: each of them is decorated with profiled segmental and triangular pediments, which alternate according to Baroque principles. In all aspects, the interior corresponds to the requirements of 17th century Protestant architecture, where the main demand was for breadth and unity of the inner space. In exploring the development and diffusion of the classical style in other countries, we should pay particular attention to the architectural treatises and printed examples. In the case of the Subate Lutheran Church, we can recognize a sample for a four-towered temple in a treatise book by Leonhard Christian Sturm, a German professor of architecture, educated in Leyden and who attended lectures by Nicolaus Goldmann, a famous professor of architecture.


  • Anna Ancane, Institute of Art History of the Latvian Academy of Art, Akademijas laukums 1-160, Riga LV-1050, Latvia


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