The ruins of Ikskile church on St.Meinhard`s island
Salaspils – Ogre
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.
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.