Take a cultural heritage trip through centuries and architectural styles! There are many churches in Saldus municipality – both old and recently built.
Saldus St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
Saldus St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is the oldest building of the town and the first stone made church in Saldus – built in 1615 but re-designed by Wilhelm Neumann and rebuilt at the end of 19th century. The church houses unique art monuments: an organ made by K.A. Hermann – a famous expert from Liepāja, a pulpit in mannerism style and a 19th century altar with the altar painting of J. Dering. The well-known Latvian artist Janis Rozentāls has pictured the church in many of his paintings at the turn of the 20th century. His diploma work “After the Service” is particularly notable.
In the summer, the church is open for visitors from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. Service is on Sundays from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m.
Saldus Martin Luther’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
The need for another Lutheran church appeared when the second Evangelical Lutheran parish was established in Saldus. The local, wealthier land owners and industrialists decided to start building a new church and donated funds, building materials, transportation and labour to the cause. The church was designed by architect P. Dreimanis using Gothic and Romanesque forms and built in 1934 with the support of the parish members’ donations. The altar painting “Jesus Christ Blesses The Fields” was painted by artist E. Dolmanis.
Saldus Sts. Peter and Paul’s Roman Catholic Church
The existence of a Roman catholic church in Saldus was first mentioned in 1461. However, the parish was established in 1923. They had twice unsuccessfully attempted to build a catholic church in Saldus – in 1940 and in 1947. The construction of the new Sts. Peter and Paul’s church began in 1999. The church was designed by architect Aigars Andersons from Saldus and built for money raised through contributions by worshippers and other well-wishers from Latvia and abroad. The parishioners have also invested a lot of effort to build the church. The construction work was finished n 2008.
The Orthodox Church Of The Lord’s Appearance
The church was built at the end of the 19th century. The local Russian Orthodox congregation strengthened and grew during the Russian government period before World War I. Interesting icons of the 19th century – “The Resurrection of Christ”, “Christ The Ruler” and “The Virgin of Kazan” can be viewed at the church.
St. Gregory’s Education Centre
St. Gregory’s Education Centre was founded in 1995 and iniciated by archbishop J. Vanags. Although the school’s identity is Lutheran, it is open for students of all Christian denominations.
Remte Lutheran Church
The church was built around 1780 by count Christoph Johann Friedrich von Medem and his third wife – Agnes Elisabeth vonMedem (neé Brücken). The church portal is still decorated with a stone-carved coat of arms of the two patrons of the church. On 11 May 1945, the church was set on fire by Soviet soldiers celebrating their victory over Germany, and it burned down. Around 1970, the church walls were adapted and used as a warehouse. Since 1992 services are held again in the church, but in 1997 the spire of the church tower was restored. A sculpture – a gift from sculptor Arta Dumpe, native to Remte – has replaced the original altar painting.
Saldus Baptist Church
Saldus baptist congregation was established in 1870. The land for the church was given by E. Vecmanis, and the construction work was overseen by F. Kronlins. A two-storey wooden house was built and consecrated as a place of worship in 1883.
Gaiķi Evangelical Lutheran Church
The church is an architectural monument of national importance. The first wooden church in Gaiķi was built around 1640. The current church was built in 1658, and the tower was added in 1684. The church was fully renovated in 1817. It is home to unique pew paintings – 26 emblematic sights depicting bible allegories.
Lutriņi Evangelical Lutheran Church
This is the fifth building of Lutriņi church, which has survived to this day. The construction of the church was completed in 1827. The altar and altar paintings from the beginning of the 19th century have remained.
Grīvaiši Lutheran Church And Cemetery
Grīvaiši lutheran church, cemetery and tavern form a complex of buildings very typical for Latvian countryside of the 17th-19th centuries. The Mannerist style pulpit with wooden carvings from the 17th century has been preserved. The church and the tavern are made of cob.
Priedula Evangelical Lutheran Church And Cemetery
Priedula lutheran church was built at the end of the 16th century as one of the 70 churches in Kurzeme region built by the order of Duke Gothard Kettler. Priedula church is famous for its 17th century confession bench and altar, and the 18th century pulpit. Priedula medieval cemetery with its original grave stone monuments is located next to the church.
Nīgrande Evangelical Lutheran Church
Nīgrande lutheran church (1775) is the oldest building in the parish. The bells and the tower cockerel are from the 18th century.
Kalni St. Agatha Roman Catholic Church
In 2005, bishop Vilhelms Lapelis consecrated the church foundation. The construction was completed in 2009. The altar was designed by local artist Maija Eņģele and made by Aivars Birznieks – a local craftsman.
Ruins of Zvārde and Ķerkliņi Churches
During the Soviet time, a large territory of Zvārde parish was given to the USSR army to create a military training ground. Impressive witnesses of the past are left in this territory: Zvārde and Ķerkliņi churches, and Rīteļi cemetery, which were all destroyed as they were located in the middle of the firing ground. Open-air services are still held at the ruins of Zvārde church.
Grieze Church Ruins
The church was built near the Lithuanian border, where the Vadakste river flows into the Venta river. The first church was built here at the end of the 16th century. The current church building was built in 1769. The famous Latvian sculptor Kārlis Zāle was baptized in this church in 1888.
The Ruins Of Jaunauce Lutheran Church
Jaunauce Lutheran church was built in 1612 during the rule of Wilhelm Kettler, the Duke of Courland, and it has been rebuilt several times. The notable linguist August Bielenstein used to work there as a pastor. The church ruins have been cleaned up and a special stone wall with the names of the homesteads that once existed in Jaunauce parish, but have disappeared now is being built near the ruins.
Ruins of Ruba Church
It is known that in the 17th century there was a wooden church, but after it burned down, the current brick church was build in its place. Since the 1960s, the church was abandoned and neglected. Now, the ruins and the surrounding area have been cleaned up and there is an information board at the church gate.