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Carmelite monastery   
karmela klosteris

Smilsu street 15
Ph. +371 65021625, +371 29925047
GPS 56.8410 24.4774                                             


The Order of Carmelites originated in 13th century Palestine, on Mount Carmel, where the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary was established. The order received the name Carmelites after their place of origin. The Carmelites arrived in Europe in 1238. The first monasteries outside of the Holy Land were built in Sicily, England and Southern France. The 16th century is the time of restoration and reform for the Order of Carmelites. The main goal of the reform was to return to their source - lives led by the hermits on the slopes of Mount Carmel. The first Discalded Carmelite monastery was founded by the Carmelite nun Teresa, now known as Teresa of Ávila. During a relatively short period Teresa of Ávila founded 17 monasteries in Spain. The Carmelite monastery reform took place not just in Spain but also Italy, France, and Belgium. Currently the Order of Discalced Carmelites is present in 81 countries, including Latvia.
The Discalded Carmelite sisters live in closure, asceticism and poverty, praying especially for the nation among which they live. They earn their livelihood working by hand, as well as baking Hostia. The sisters live day and night praying for the Church and the world. According to the Carmelite regulations, a community can have no more than 21 nuns, since every community lives as a family.
The main mission of the Discalded Carmelites is prayer. The sisters live isolated from the world. They spend 7 hours a day in prayer, work and use their lives to show the love of Christ and his coming. Sisters pray for all of Church, but especially for priests and servants of God.
Their whole day is arranged for prayer, uniting the soul to God and being in His presence. That is why the sisters spend their days and nights in silence, except for an hour after lunch and dinner, that is dedicated to everyday recreation, which is the time when the sisters get together to freely talk while making handicrafts.
The agenda dictates that 5:00-22:00 is time for prayers and work. Every sister has to work for the community.
The aspiring Discalded Carmelites have to be people of prayer that pursue love and distance from the world. They have to have a good sense of responsibility and be able to live in the close isolated nun community. One can join from age 18, but it's encouraged to have completed standard education and acquired a profession. A sister who has joined a community rarely ever leaves for another.

Ikskile Orthodox church   
pareizticīgo baznīca

Klusa street 1
Orthodoxal cemetery
Ph. +371 65030166
GPS 56.8299 24.4969                                               


Monument of local significance. Built in 1936, project by V. Šervinskis. The royal doors were planned in the classical style with the three Canon-appropriate doors, but the lack of space allowed only for the central doors, the rest of the space is decorated with simple icons, arranged by the Orthodox Canon.
Holy Spirit Orthodox Church of Ikšķile is the smallest Orthodox church in Latvia. It is a monument of local importance.
The Holy Spirit Orthodox Church of Ikšķile Congregation has 75 members. The Church has always been open to believers, since the Ikšķile Congregation has always had people that hold the spiritual values and have ensured that the church is always protected and preserved.
The facade of the church was restored in 2007, but the inside was restored in 2008.

Ikskile lutheran church   
luteranu baznica

Daugava prospectus 10
Ph. +371 65030328
GPS 56.8359 24.5020                                              


In the early 1930s it was decided that instead of restoring the old church built in 1185 (and rebuilt in 1879) which was destroyed in World War 1 (1915) a new church would instead be built in the centre of Ikšķile, near the railroad. The land is then bought and architect Pauls Kundziņš wins the contest.
The church's cornerstone is placed in July 28, 1931. Construction costs 48 000 LVL. During this time the parish, consisting of 400 members, holds the service in the Tīnūži Manor hall.
In November 12, 1933 the consecration is attended by Archbishop Jānis Grīnbergs. The author of the altar piece Dod mums savu svētību, Jēzu! (Jesus, give us Your blessing!) (5.2m x 2.2 m) is the Ikšķile resident and Art Academy of Latvia professor Jānis Kuga.
In 1934 the church tower becomes home to a bell made in the workshops of Liepāja war port with the inscription "Ring for us in the mornings, ring in the Saturday evenings!”
In 1935 a plaque is placed north of the altar commemorating the 52 victims of World War 1 and the Latvian War of Independence - members of the Ikšķile parish.
In 1938 there are 1200 parish members.
After the church disruption in the mid-60s, the church building is used as the State Library book storage from 1968 to November 5, 1998. The altar piece and consecration tools were stored in Rundāle Palace.
Since 1994, the building has been included in the list of National importance architectural monuments.
In December 24, 1999 the parish returns to the church.
The church repairs and restoration begins in February of 2000. The Archbishop Jānis Vanags consecrates the altar in March 3.
In 2003 the exterior is completely restored.
Since the completion of the church it has been the workplace of 12 pastors. Another floor was built while the church was home to the book storage. The church has been able to adapt these rooms and they currently host exhibits and concerts. With the help of European funding, the church has acquired a wheelchair lift, allowing easier access to the church for people with movement disorders and severe illnesses.

 The ruins of Ikskile church on St.Meinhard's island 
bazncas drupas

Ikskile region
Ph. +371 65022458
GPS 56.8154 24.5008                                               


Ikšķile is a city and a municipality in the South-West of Vidzeme, by the river Daugava, and can be counted as one of the oldest cities in Latvia. Ikšķile became the centre of the Livonian Bishopric.
Ikšķile is one of the oldest inhabited Latvian regions. This is also proved by the hill forts and ancient burial sites in the area. The bank of river Daugava housed a Livonian village starting from the 9-12th century. The name "Ikšķile" originated from the Livonia üks küla, which means "one village". In 1185 stonecutters from Gotland built the Livonian bishop's castle with a chapel - a church.
The Ikšķile church ruins - the oldest stone building ruins in Latvia, located on the small Saint Meinhard's Island, in the artificially created Rīgas HES reservoir. The church was built in 1185, by order of bishop Meinhard, rebuilt in 1879-1881, destroyed in 1916. After the creation of the Rīgas HES in the 1970s it was surrounded by water. Nowadays the ruins are preserved, with a roof built over them and the island secured. For preservation purposes, in 2002 the church received a metal roof, but preservation was also done in 1962-1963 and 1970-1975. In 2005 the church was included in the European Cultural Heritage list as one of Latvia's most preserved monuments.
Saint Meinhard's holy place is becoming more and more recognisable in Latvia due to both its cultural and religious significance. This island was the starting place of many youth days, when the Latvian youth carried a lit candle through all of Latvia - from the first church runs in Ikšķile to other Latvian cities. On the first Sunday after August 15 of every year, Saint Meinhard's Island holds the The Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven celebration. The Island holds sermons, as well as baptismal and marriage ceremonies.
Nowadays, visits to the ruins are done by boat or ferry, but every summer Rīgas HES undergoes repairs, allowing visitors to reach the island on dry feet using the old road whose sides still hold the stumps of the old alley trees.