Der Dom zu Riga

  • Translation

Article ID EUL2163


Der Dom zu Riga


Depiction of the cathedral in Riga, Latvia.


ca. 1870



Historical Description

In the 12th century, German merchants increasingly arrived in Livonia. Initially, the Semgaller harbor on the lower reaches of the Aa River, about 50 km west of Riga, was an important trading center. Riga was primarily the seat of the Archbishops of Riga, but also an increasingly important trading city that belonged to the Hanseatic League. As part of the colonization of the East, the bishops tried to settle mainly Germans in the pagan area. The numerous disputes between the Archbishops of Riga and the Teutonic Order were fought out both by force of arms and by means of trials before the Pope. After the battle of Neuermühlen won by the Order in 1491, the Teutonic Order and the Archbishop of Riga concluded the Peace of Wolmar. The Archbishop recognized the Teutonic Order as the protecting power of Livonia and also participated with his own army contingent in the Battle of Lake Smolina in 1502. In 1522 Riga joined the Reformation, which brought the power of the archbishops to an end. The last archbishop of Riga was Wilhelm of Brandenburg. In 1561/62 the city did not immediately follow the decision of the archbishop and the Order to submit to Poland-Lithuania, but favored a status as a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, especially in the 1570s. Only when its hoped-for help failed to materialize, renewed Russian advances led the city to pay homage to Poland's King Stephen Báthory in 1581. In 1587, Nicolas Mollyn founded the first printing house in Riga. Over the next 38 years, he published 165 books, 119 of which were in Latin, 43 in German and three in Latvian. The 40-year Polish-Lithuanian rule, under which the citizens resisted anti-reformation efforts - such as during the calendar riots - ended with the conquest by Gustav II Adolf in 1621. During the Russo-Swedish War (1656-1658), Riga withstood a Russian siege and remained the second largest city in the Swedish dominion until the beginning of the 18th century. During this period the city enjoyed extensive self-government. In the course of the Great Northern War, Riga and the people of Riga were hit hard several times. In 1710, after a prolonged siege, the city surrendered to the troops of Russian general Boris Petrovich Sheremetev. The rise of Russia as a great power in the Baltic region was sealed by the Peace of Nystad in 1721. Riga was annexed to the tsardom. Riga became the seat of administration and capital of the Livonia Governorate.

Dimensions (cm)10,5 x 8 cm
ConditionPerfect condition
TechniqueWood engraving


8.25 €

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