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11. Novembra krastmala

Lielais Kristaps

Great Christopher

Michael Brinkmann & Ģirts Upītis
1683 (1997)

Rīga /  Lielais Kristaps   Rīga /  Lielais Kristaps


Wooden statue of Christopher carrying a child. The statue is replica of 1997. The original, with restored hands and child, is in the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation.



Information Sign


"Senos laikos, kad Rigas vēl nav bijis, gara auguma un stiprs
vīrs, saukts par Lielo Kristapu, nesis cilvēkus pāri Daugavau. Tās
labajā krastā Kristaps bija uzcēlis būdu.
Reiz naktī guļot Kristaps izdzirdis, ka Daugavas kreisajā
krastā raud bērns palicis tik smags, ka Kristaps tik ar lielām
pūlēm varējis to pārnest. Noguldījis savā un arī pats aiz
noguruma aizsnaudies.
Nākošajā rītā, kad Kristaps pamodies, bērņs bija pazudis, bet,
kur tas bija gulējis, atradās liela kaste ar zelta naudu. Kad Kristaps
nomira, par viņa būdā atrasto naudu uzcelta Rīgas pilsēta."

Pēc tēlnieka Mihaela Brinkmana 1683, gadā izgatavotā
oriģināla šo Lielā Kristapa skulptūras kopiju 1997. gadā darināja
kokgriezējs Gints Upītis. Skulptūras oriģnāls atrodas Rīgas
vēstured un kuģniecības muzejā.


"Once upon a time, long ago, before the city of Riga was
founded, a tall strong man named Lielais Kristaps (Big
Christopher) carried people across the river Daugava. Kristaps
lived in a cabin on right bank of the river.
While sleeping one night, Kristamps heard a small child crying
on the other side of the river. He immediately rose to fetch the child,
and began to carry it across the river. Half way across, the child
became so heavy that Kristaps barely managed to get to the other
bank. Exhausted, he laid the child down to sleep in his shack, and
fell asleep himself.
The following morning Kristaps awoke to find a large chest of
gold coins where the child had been. Upon his death, the money was
used to found the city of Riga, the first building was build on the
spot where Kristaps cabin had once stood."

Gints Upitis in 1997 made copy of the original wooden
sculpture built by Michael Brinkman in 1683. The original statue is
located in Museum of History of Riga and Navigation.

Sia "Rīgas nami"
dāvinājums Rīgai 800
gadu jubilejā.
'Rigas houses' Ltd.
Donation for Riga's 800th


The legend as on the sign near the statue is clearly a secularised version of the legend of St. Christopher. A slightly different version of the legends on the website of TheCeļotājs makes that even more clear:
The legend of Big Christopher "Lielais Kristaps", the city's protector from floods and other natural disasters, tells us that in the 3rd century a giant of a man, Offero, who lived in a small cave on the bank of the Daugava, would help carry travelers across the river.

One dark, stormy night a little boy came to him and asked to be carried across the river. Offero's kind heart could not refuse the little boy, so he took him on his shoulder and carried him through the lashing waves. With each step the weight of the child became heavier and heavier. However, the big man finally arrived at the other shore and gently put the child down on dry land.

The boy then revealed himself as Christ, and explained that he was so heavy because he bore the weight of the sins of the world on himself. He then baptized Offero and renamed him Christopher "Christ-bearer".

After returning home, the humble giant found a pile of gold, which, if the story is to be believed, he used to build Riga.

In 1682, Michael Brinckmann made a 2.36 meter high wooden statue of Christopher that was erected near the present Alberta laukums, at that time on the bank of the River Ridzena (which now flows underground). The statue, which was often covered with ribbons and flowers, was so well-liked that it was the only catholic statue that survived the Calendar Uprising of 1584.

Rīga - Lielais Kristaps


Sources & Information


Locatie (N 56°56'58" - E 24°6'1")

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Item Code: lv075; Photograph: 10 July 2013
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