The restored dome of the Cathedral bell tower was officially opened with the support of Guntis Rāvis


Within the framework of SVET, the restoration of Riga Nativity Orthodox Cathedral, initiated by Guntis Rāvis, the dome of Cathedral bell tower has been reborn in an appearance appropriate to its historical idea. 

The newly built cross that corresponds to the Orthodox canons and the rounded and flattened dome surface have been completely gilded and officially opened on November 7, 2011 with the sound of the loud calls of the Cathedral bells.

“The inexpressible satisfaction for every work that has been done for the revival of the Cathedral continues to inspire new ideas,” says the patron of SVET Guntis Rāvis. “At the same time, each project is also a challenge that cannot be achieved without the help of the best professionals. Everyone who has participated deserves a big thank you, especially, the people working at Skonto Būve and Skonto Plan that have always carried the most responsibility on their shoulders.”

The dome restoration under the guidance of Skonto Būve project manager Modris Seļakovs lasted for 10 months. Restoration began with a careful study of the dome and historical materials; it was planned and conducted in several labour-intensive steps in order to ensure the best possible implementation of the historical conception by Baltic German architect Robert Pflug.

The cathedral’s bell tower has not only received a re-made base of the cross, constructions and a new roof covering, the cross itself has also been re-built under the guidance of experienced masters, in the Skonto Plan factory.

Guntis Rāvis acknowledges that the creation of the 80 kilos heavy and two meters high cross has been a unique project. The components of the cross have been cut with laser from stainless steel, then sanded, welded, and the cross was matted with ceramic beads, which provide better grip of materials during the further gilding process.

The gilding of the cross and the dome surface was conducted in specific working conditions by specially created scaffolding solutions provided for this event, under the guidance of Latvian restoration work master Gazs Habibuļins. The master acknowledges that the gilding is not only the most beautiful but also the most permanent coverage that does not rust or oxidise for a very long time, thus it will not have to be renewed for at least the next 40 to 50 years.

The cathedral administration and the patron of the campaign, Guntis Rāvis, expressed sincere gratitude towards the employees of Skonto Būve and Skonto Plan, its subcontractors, gilding masters and experts, the Riga municipal officers, as well as residents who found a way to donate for the cathedral. So far, nearly 4000 lats have been donated within the SVET campaign.

Skonto Būve Continues its Tradition of Supporting Dinamo Rīga Hockey Club by Donating EUR 200,000


The cheque worth EUR 200,000 upholds the tradition that Skonto Būve exercises each season to add its contribution to the development of Dinamo Rīga and reinforce the national pride of Latvia.

At the beginning of the new KHL season, as was the case in previous years, the Chairman of the Board of Skonto Būve Guntis Rāvis handed over the donation cheque to Dinamo Rīga players Krišjānis Rēdlihs and Mārtiņš Cipulis and the Chairman of the Board of the team Aigars Kalvītis.

Guntis Rāvis, Chairman of the Board of Skonto Būve Ltd., says: “A new season is here and it is time to support and take pride in our hockey team – Dinamo Rīga. Dinamo has proven itself to be a solid asset in Latvian sports and in the Continental Hockey League, while Skonto Būve is a solid asset in the Latvian economy. Where Dinamo Rīga showcases its professionalism on the rink, Skonto Būve does the same on the construction site. As a Latvian company, we are happy to be able to support a Latvian hockey team, watch exciting games and be proud of our strength and our Latvia.”

General Partnership Represented by Skonto Būve Opens New Section of the Eastern Arterial


A new section of the Eastern Arterial has been opened for traffic that will significantly ease congestion from Brīvības Street (intersection with Vairoga Streets) to Vecmīlgrāvis and Vecāķi. The opening ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs, the Director of Riga City Council Traffic Department Edgars Strods, the chairman of Traffic and Transport Committee Vadims Baraņņiks, the representative of TLTB, the general partnership represented by Skonto Būve Juris Pētersons, and others.

The new section of theEastern Arterial consists of three parts: the intersection of Eastern Arterial with Gaujas Street, the two level hub of Viestura and Meža Streets, as well as the section connecting these objects, going from the Gaujas Street to Viestura Street, which was built in 2008.

In this project, the general partnership TLTB did the construction of the overpass connecting Gustava Zemgala Avenue and Gaujas Street that is located between Vairoga Street and Meža Street.

The EasternArterial is intended as a part of the main streets network of Riga that caters for transit traffic,hosts the main inter-city traffic load and leads to the external road network. It will connect the Southern crossing with Viestura Street, thus establishing a route bypassing the city centre. The Eastern Arterial will significantly relieve the historical centre of Riga, especially November 11 Waterfront, from freight traffic.

The Cathedral’s New Bell Tower Cross Has Been Made in Skonto Plan


Under the supervision of qualified and experienced masters, a brand new bell tower cross of Riga Nativity Orthodox Cathedral has been made in Skonto Plan factory which will be gilded and opened for demonstration to the public within the framework of the Cathedral renovation campaign SVET as early as this autumn.

Guntis Rāvis, the initiator and patron of the campaign SVET, with whose donations the facade of the Cathedral has been renovated and renovation and gilding of the bell tower cross of the Cathedral is taking place at this moment, recognises that the manufacturing of the cross of with a weight of 80 kilos and height of two metres has been a special project in which the best specialists of Latvia have been involved. The masters of Skonto Plan have developed drawings of the cross according to sketches of Petersburg’s specialists. Components of the cross have been cut out from stainless steel by laser, then ground, welded, the cross has been matted with ceramic pearls that ensure better adherence of materials in the further gilding process.

“Sometimes we have to develop unique technical solutions; however the cross is not only a construction or object, but the symbol of Christianity. Therefore, it was not only a challenge and special work assignment for us, we perceived it as our moral investment,” said Uldis Eglājs, who is fulfilling the duties of the manager of the Metal Non-standard Articles Factory of Skonto Plan, who has previously managed several renovation projects of church crosses.

The cross, as the surface of the dome, will be gilded by experienced specialists and the works will be managed by Gazis Habibuļins, the old master of restoration works of Latvia. He recognises that gilding is not only the most beautiful, but also the most resistant cover which does not rust or oxidise for a long period of time – it will not have to be renovated earlier than 40-50 years from now.

The Cathedral renovation project SVET, which is implemented with the support of Guntis Rāvis, the patron and initiator of the campaign SVET, will be the most ambitious renovation campaign of cultural monuments implemented in Latvia until now in which each representative of society is invited to participate.

Guntis Rāvis and Nils Ušakovs Commemorate the Commencement of the Cathedral Cupola Gold-plating with a Memorial Plaque


Gold-plating of the Riga Nativity Orthodox Cathedral bell tower cupola has been commenced within the largest campaign for renovation of cultural monuments implemented in Latvia “SVET”. Commencing this, the initiator and patron of the campaign “SVET” Guntis Rāvis and Lord Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs gold-plated a special memorial plaque which will remind future generations of the day when gold-plating of the cupola was first commenced.

 The memorial plaque featuring the symbol of SVET campaign and the bequest “Let the Cathedral light shine forth!” will be visible to visitors of the Cathedral and will continue to urge everyone to support the purposes of the Cathedral renovation initiated by “SVET”.

 “The participation of every person is a significant support in the Cathedral renovation and restoration, and hopefully we shall be able to gold-plate all cupolas of the Cathedral at some time in the future” said the initiator and patron of the campaign “SVET” Guntis Rāvis while commencing the gold-plating.

Gold-plating of the cupola will be performed by experienced specialists who will cover the 80 square metre bell tower cupola and its cross with the finest 980 carat gold. The gold-plating procedure will be managed by one of the few restoration Old Masters in Latvia, Gazis Habibuļins. He admits that gilding is not only the prettiest, but also the most durable cupola cover which does not rust or oxidise for a very long time – it won’t be necessary to renew it for the next 40-50 years. It is planned that the gold-plating works will be completed and the cupola will be open to the eyes of the public in this autumn.

 Support of the initiator and patron of the campaign “SVET”, Chairman of the Board of LLC “Skonto Būve” Guntis Rāvis has helped to completely re-build and gold-plate also the bell tower cupola cross which has been endorsed by Alexander, Metropolitan of Riga and whole Latvia.

 “Cupola gold-plating is an expressly Orthodox tradition. Gold, in the first place, is a symbol of eternity, sanctity, power and heavenly glory. The gold-plated cupolas of churches remind of the spiritual fight, while the bright cupola tops address the people like the flame of a candle by saying: ‘You are the light of the world!’” said Alexander, Metropolitan of Riga and whole Latvia, greeting the commencement of cupola gold-plating.