Culture minister orders Dome Cathedral closed

One of Rīga’s best-loved tourist attractions and most important religious monuments, the Dome Cathedral (Doma baznīca), has been temporarily closed because of concerns about the building’s structural soundness.

Minister of Culture Helēna Demakova ordered the closure June 8 after learning the results of a geologic study that suggests the building is in a critical state.

“We must act without delay,” Demakova said in a prepared statement. ” Because of concerns about people’s safety, the Rīga Dome is being closed for now.”

Constructed beginning in 1211, the cathedral includes several architectural styles, evidence of later reconstruction on the building. It also houses one of the largest organs in Europe and is a popular venue for concerts.

The cathedral will be closed at least until a final report is issued by the State Building Inspectorate, according to the culture ministry. Demakova warned that the government will have to deal with financing the restoration of the cathedral.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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