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Big Kristaps

Big Kristaps, or St. Christopher, is a sculpture of a very tall man, on the shoulder of which sits a little boy. In one hand he holds a paddle and the other with a small lantern that lights the way across the river. Kristaps, under long-term service for the benefit of the people, have to get everyone across the river.

For a long period of time, St. Christopher was the patron of pilots, carriers, carriers, and also a Trustee of bridges, viaducts and crossings. The sculpture itself is made of wood, accented with bright colors. Who are the authors of Big Kristaps, made approximately in the early 16th century, is unknown.

In those days, the sculpture was popular and famous, there was even a saying, which referred to three wonders of the city including the figure of Big Christopher: "the Bridge on the water is, the Giant that stands at the gate, and the Bell that hangs outside the tower". Under the bridge on the water, referred to in the saying refers to one of the main crossings of the Daugava river (Western Dvina), connecting the Inner city, which from all sides was surrounded by fortifications. Under the third gimmick, indicated in the saying refers to the bell of St. Blaise, which hung outside the chapel at cybercom, he was attached to the tower Riga Yakovlevskoe the Church and fulfilled the function of "alarm bells". Well, the giant at the gate - he's a Big boy. The original location of the sculpture is unknown. However, in the 18th century, when the proverb had acquired its final form, the statue was placed at the main carlsbad gate. Near these gates there was a small shopping area, which competed with the main trading place in the town hall square.

In 1861 the statue of Big Christopher took his place in a small building located on the banks of the Daugava river in the beginning of the street Maskavas, who served as an important trading point and passing through the Moscow suburb. The place where the statue stood, was not far from the building, St. George's hospital - the most important centre of charity. Next to the glass that protected the sculpture of the Big Kristaps from the weather, there was a large wooden mug for donations. The money was transferred to St George's hospital. Large donations often leave members of the Riga brotherhood of carriers, as well as guest carriers, who thus expressed to Christopher thanks for the help in overcoming the dangerous rapids of the river. In addition, the wife and bride of the pilots and carriers have brought out your decorations: beads, ribbons, ribbons, necklaces, as gratitude for saving their loved ones. All of these items, after being hit in the mug, it is revered by locals as the amulets and charms that possess healing properties. Some of them can be found in the Museum of history of Riga and navigation.

In addition, St. Christopher attributed the miraculous ability to heal wounds. It was believed that if you wrap a hand Kristaps thread or ribbon and give her a little bit to hang, and then remove and put on themselves, the cure would be infallible. Developed another tradition: the small children in front of a sculpture of St. Christopher's brought promise to behave and learn to be honest and diligent throughout the year.

In the late 18th century graduates of the Riga Polytechnic opened its "hooligan tradition" to leave suggestions in the glass booth, or even the sculpture of the Big money. With a tradition of hard fought policemen. Students also believed that such an act will bring good luck to a graduate entering into a new life.

After independence of the country in the 1920s, the monument began to fall into decay. In the course of hostilities glass box had deteriorated, as a result, it collapsed, the remnants were taken away wipers, and a new fence was not put. In 1923, decided to move the wooden statue in the Museum of history of Riga and navigation. There is a Great Kristaps is to this day. Currently in the booth made of bulletproof glass which is located on the waterfront of the river Daugava, is a copy of the Lielais Kristaps.