From the history of the church

It seems that the small, homely and permeated by prayer, the church of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God, with its myrrh-streaming ancient icons, breathes with grace.

This church survived during two world wars and the times of severe persecution of the Church. By the will of God it remained the only functioning church in Jelgava until 1998.

Such is the story if its foundation:

In the Summer of 1887 Arseniy (Bryantsev), the Archbishop of Riga and Mitava, who earlier held the position of the rector of the Theological Academy of St Petersburg, began his episcopal ministry in Courland by personally inspecting the condition of orthodox churches if this land.

Having visited the Cathedral of Simeon and Anna, built by the famous court architect F. B. Rastrelli, Archbishop decided to rebuild the main church of the city.

It was decided also that a small church should be built on the orthodox cemetery which existed since the XVIII century, so that church services can take place during the reconstruction works.

A small chapel on the southern outskirts of the city would not be big enough for all worshippers.

The story of the church of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God in Mitava begins with the first chapel built in 1868 on the city’s orthodox cemetery. The church was founded on December the 20th 1887. Local church council gave 7000 rubles for the building. Donations were given enthusiastically. Some true philanthropists donated construction materials for the building. Substantial help for building orthodox churches in Courland was given by Russian tradesmen and businessmen, especially the dynasty of Nesterovs.

One of the respected parishioners donated an exquisite oak iconostasis.

The church of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God was built exactly after the ancient church buildings and was built extremely fast. The architectural project was made by Vladimir Lunsky, an architect from Riga. The building cost 12000 rubles.

Already on June the 2nd 1889 the cemetery church was festively blessed in the name of the feast of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God by His Eminence Arseniy, the Archbishop of Riga and Mitava.

The building of the church of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God is characterized by sturdiness, exquisite decorations and elegance. It is one of the architectural masterpieces of Jelgava.

Second World War wrought considerable damage to the city. After the war damaged buildings were repaired and those that were beyond repair - demolished.

After 1940-ies it was decided to demolish the historical cemetery around the church of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God and to build a flour-production plant instead.

The church was not only saved, but also remained always functioning.

The outward and inward appearance of the church, including frescoes, has been periodically renovated, but there have been no considerable changes, therefore it is possible to imagine the original looks of the church.

Main pageNews and eventsAbout the churchArticlesSocial aidThe farmThanksDonationsContacts

Event Calendar

You can participate in church charitable programs

Read more