“TheCeļotājs” –
Grobiņa Town Sights in Courland
Grobina Evangelical Lutheran Church – ANNO 1664 –
Lat: 56.5357017, Lon: 21.1628423 
Lielā iela 21, Grobiņa, LV-3430
The beginning of Grobiņa’s church traces back to the early 13th century when the castle of Grobiņa, built by the Teutonic Knights, had a church as a part of it until the late Middle Ages.
In the time of the late middle ages Grobiņa was a part of Prussian territory where the law of the German churches took place. It is known that in the end of 16th century and the beginning of 17th century the last battle between the Swedish and Polish solders took place which resulted in a destruction of the church located in that area.
In the time of Kurzeme’s Herzegovina by the order of Duke Jacob a number of churches were built in this region, including the church we have now. In 1664 the church was built and has remained ever since.
The church built by Duke Jacob in 1664 has suffered tremendously over the time and thus has been renovated and repaired more than once. Everything that had been ruined or destroyed over the time has been historically restored. Within the period of time between World War I and World War II the church has been renovated twice. The first time was in 1931 when it got a rather distinct look - violet, blue, and green patterns on it. Until then it is known that the church had been colored only in white and gold. These are the colors maintained in the design of the church nowadays as well.
In 1939 for the 275th anniversary of the church the leader of the church began some discussions with the Monument Board about the possibilities of doing some renovation work for the church. The main goals were to repair the daub the ceiling and walls, put in stained glass windows by the altar, and build a cellar for storing the heating system. The money needed for all of these renovations were collected from and donated by the people of Grobiņa. Even the president of Latvia in that time Karlis Ulmanis donated 1000 lats for Grobiņa’s church. Even though most of the necessary work was managed, the Red army destroyed most of it in 1941.
However, soon after that, in 1942 the people of Grobiņa began the work of restoring the damage all over again. The goal was to finish renovating the roof and then restoring the inner part of the church. Unfortunately, owing to the war they did not manage to do that. The service in the church was held again only in 1947. The renovation and restoration work was continued until 1960’s. A lot has been to restore and renovate the church since 2000. The first and main work was to change the roof. Later there were some significant improvements also inside the church – the heating system was set in, new windows were changed, walls were renovated, and a new design for the interior was created. The most recent improvements were the purchase of a better and greater bell as well as the paving of a path that leads to the church. All these things were done for the 345th anniversary of the church in 2009.
Pastors of Grobiņa’s Church
According to the information received, the pastor of the church of Grobina in 16th century was Enohs Remblings, followed by his sons. One of the pastors of the middle 17th century was Kristofs Rihters, whose grandfather was closely related to Luther as his friend and companion. During the time of Duke Jacob’s visit in Grobiņa Rihters was his court’s pastor. In the time of plague in Kurzeme in 18th century pastor Veinmans served in the church. In spite of severely suffering from the plague, Veinmans managed to serve for 34 years, followed by pastor Kupfers.
The time of the end of 18th century and the middle of 19th century in Grobiņa’s church was lead by Von Launic’s family. In 1920’s for a period of time the church of Grobiņa was without a constant leader and pastor. It ended in 1925 with Janis Kundzins being elected as the pastor. He devoted himself to the work with a great energy and passion. Meanwhile, the board members of the church initiated the renovation of the church as well as the restoration of the pastor’s house. On 29 August, 1928 the pastor’s house was finished which was funded by church’s own money and was the first pastor’s house restored in the post-war Latvia. As it turns out, the pastor’s house built in 2006 is exactly the same as in 1928.
However, shortly after that in the following fall pastor Kundzins resigned and left for another church. Consequently, Grobiņa’s church was once again left without a permanent shepherd.
Additionally, only in 1931 the church of Grobiņa again got its pastor Kristaps Valters.Until 1939 there was also a German church in Grobiņa. In the time of war in 1941 the church was guided by the pastor Roberts Abolins, who also lead the first reconstruction, work for the destroyed church. After the war Abolins lived in the United States of America and served as a pastor in a Latvian church in Seattle until 2002 when he passed away. Shortly after the war the church was lead by a pastor from Priekule’s church Karlis Aumalis, followed by pastor Kalks, Dreiblats, Kamergrauzis, and Simakins. Starting in 1994 for two years Gints Kronbergs served as a young pastor in the church. Martins Urdze and Varis Bitenieks took his place afterwards. On 7 January, 2006 Kronbergs was again asked to serve as a pastor in Grobiņa’s Lutheran church. Ever since Gints Kronbergs has been serving in the church the number of members in the congregation has grown rapidly. Now there are more than 300 members in the church. According to G. Kronbergs, “Despite the fact that great things have been accomplished during these past couple of years, we need to remain humble and open to God’s work in us. We need to accept every person who has come to his faith in Christ so that we can grow and strengthen our own belief by serving each other in a loving brotherhood”.
Revised: 04/18/2013 – 03:56:40