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“Standard Cathedral: crawling with affluence and sexism”

Nativity of Christ Cathedral
Ranked #10 of 223 things to do in Riga
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
894 reviews
244 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 578 helpful votes
“Standard Cathedral: crawling with affluence and sexism”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

The outside of the cathedral is impressive to say the least, despite the rather humorous picture of the old dome being used to cover the construction of the new one. With an exterior appearing as if it were made of golden Lego-bricks, the main Orthodox church of Riga is exactly what you would expect in a modern Orthodox church: grande, golden, and misogynistic.

Once inside, one is immediately presented with the sign "no skirts or ladies' shorts" directly to one side of the typical romantically unrealistic representation of Iēsous - and no prize to whoever guesses what was on his other side: a donation box by the door guarded by a priestess. I should have known.

The main hall is large and pleasant to look at. That is, if you manage to see much of it before the dirty stares at any women in your group intimidate you into leaving. Our group of ten had seven male visitors and three female: two of which were wearing trousers, the third a knee-length dress with opaque grey tights. Despite this, we were greeted with hostility by other visitors until one of the matrons approached one (male) of our group and asked us to leave unless "the women cover their hair." Philosophical debates put aside, this was little short of pathetic, anachronistic, gynophobic abuse by the staff of an otherwise pleasant attraction.

I returned the next day, alone, and was greeted with a welcoming smile. How interesting that the servants of god in this cathedral are so particular with whom they welcome into what they consider their sacred ground. As is usual in European cathedrals, the "no cameras" rule was being flouted by the majority of guests; so as long as one turns the flash off it should be fine to take photographs, provided one is either male or has no provocative ankles/ears on show.

Oh, and whilst I explored the large and fascinating hall on my return visit, guess what I noticed to one side of the main altar? Another donation box. Ha, as if they need the money.

Visited April 2014
3 Thank GandalfTheDrunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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353 reviews from our community

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Pacifica, California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Amazing Architecture”
Reviewed 31 January 2014

Although I did not go into this church, I was mesmerized by the architecture and grounds that surround it. The church is a gleaming white structure with incredible decor on the outside and is well worth seeing.

Visited May 2013
Thank Aija45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riga, Latvia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“wonderful restoration”
Reviewed 22 October 2013

During the Russian occupation this church was a planetarium with a restaurant. it has been restored in all its splendor and it is definitely worth a detour!!!

Visited October 2013
Thank ikke48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stamford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
173 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“amazing interior”
Reviewed 19 October 2013

Awe inspiring interior - well worth a look . On the edge of the old town in a park near to the canal and the monument. I have never seen s much gold!!

Visited October 2013
1 Thank lipsticklover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
551 reviews
336 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 542 helpful votes
“A special experience”
Reviewed 15 September 2013

A wonderful orthodox cathedral, both from outside as well as from inside. If you happen to visit this place during a church service, you will feel welcome and comfortable. You'll doubtlessly enjoy the overall atmosphere, the chants by the priests and the choir, and see the people participating or just watching. The paintings are not very old, nevertheless really nice and giving a great impression in every point of view.

Visited September 2013
4 Thank Culturetraveller12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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