Island with a Church in the middle of the river

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Ikšķile is a place where more than 800 years ago historical events of both national and European importance took place. The ruins of the oldest sacred stone building, located on the St. Meinhard’s Island on the river Daugava, are the witnesses of these events. In 1184, Meinhard, who was an Augustinian canon at the Segeberg Abbey in Holstein, started to build a church on the island. The church served as the chair of the Livonian bishop till 1201, when Riga was founded. The building was thoroughly reconstructed during 1879–1881, but was destroyed in 1916. Nowadays, a 10 m high metal cross (artist: E. Samovičs), and a stone altar (sculptor: J. Karlovs) are placed on the island. For conservation purposes the ruins were covered with a metal roof in 2002. Visitors can get to the ruins via passenger ferry or a boat. Each August the St. Meinhard's day is celebrated on the island, and the Holy Mass is held. If previously arranged, it is possible to held baptism or wedding on the island. An architectural and historical monument of national importance.



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