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Valka - Lugaži evangelical lutheran church

The church is located at the corner of Raiņa and Riga streets. The first time that the church's name appeared in historical documents was in 1477. At that time it was called Saint Catherine's Church. The congregation was composed of the inhabitants from the Pilslugaži, Burga, Liellugaži and Čori estates. The patron of the church was one of the nobles, most often from the Wrangel Family. 
The church itself has endured a difficult past: it was destroyed twice, but thanks to the Wrengel family it was rebuilt several times. The first time the church suffered damage was in 1702 during the Northern War. The second time, only fifty years later, was well as in 1907, a fire broke out at night and destroyed the roof. The church tower burned completely and the bell fell into the church. It was restored by Baron von Wrangel's sister. The restored church was christened on May 2nd 1910 as Valka-Lugaži Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The next major tower renovation took place on August 6, 1935. Before the renovation, the tower was grey, but now it was painted green. The wall and wood strctures were painted white. Before the renovation, the tower swayed then the bell rang, so, this time the tower was reinforced with the new wooden frame. The ball and the rooster of the church tower were taken down for guilding and it turned out that during the Russian Revolution they had been shot through with bullet holes.
The ball suffered about ten bullet holes and the rooster contained about twenty. They were handled over for repair to a Valka repair shop owned by Jānis Melnbārdis, and then painted by Riga's master craftsman Kārlis Zīle.
The next tower repairs were completed in the summer of 1993 and in the spring of 1995. In 1991 the ball and rooster were again taken down from the tower because they were stored in the Valka County Research mUseum because the tower was undergoing reconstruction and repair. On August 29, 1995, the rooster was raised back into the tower, but a year later in July of 1996, the rooster's wail was becoming badly bent. There was a problem with the bearing support system and in order to fix it, the rooster had to be taken down again.
On January 20th the congregation's council decided to star remodelling the church's interior. Because the majority of the church's congregation in the past consisted of the surrounding peasant population, the interior design was dominated by wooden structures which created a rather heavy and solid impression. After completing research during the 1997 remodelling, new interesting facts were discovered. While restoring the church after the fire, the craftsmen covered up the wooden carvings with wood panels which adomed the altar as well as the prayer hall. The arches in the altar area were also restored. During the 1997 restoration, all wooden carvings and ornaments were restored. The wall paint was restored to its original colours, yellow by the altar area, light green in the prayer hall, and white around the windows. In 1998 the inside of the bell tower was restored as well as the viewing area of the city panorama. In 1999 the parial roof restoration was done.
Tower restoration works have been completed in 2006 from repainting the bell tower, reinforcing the roof structure, repairing the tower's rooster to the church's interior and exterior cosmetic upkeep.
In the front of the building, one can observe classical and baroque styles.
Nowadays, the church serves as a house of worship and the church tower is used as the town's observation tower, which opens up to a wonderful panoramic views of Valka and Valga. 

Valka Tourism Information Centre,
‌Rigas iela 22, Valka +371 64725522, 26446602
‌tib@valka.lv, www.visit.valka.lv

For other information, please contact the church directly at baznica@valka.lv

Draudzes mācītājs
Andris Reiters
pieņemšana draudzes mājā vai baznīcā
katru piektdienu
no plkst. 17-19

t. nr. 29633822

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