Album „Terra Mariana. 1186–1888″ Sponsored by the Chairperson of the Council of Baltic International Bank
On Sunday, April 27, the presentation of a
facsimile copy of the unique album „Terra Mariana. 1186–1888″
(with commentaries) was held in the new premises of the National Library of Latvia.
The album was sponsored by Valeri Belokon, the Chairperson of the Council of Baltic
International Bank and patron of the arts.
album „Terra Mariana. 1186–1888″
tells us about the spread of Christianity in Latvia and Estonia, the lands once
known as Livonia. Terra Mariana (Land of Mary) was the official name for
Medieval Livonia. One original
copy of the album was printed in 1888 in Riga and thereafter presented
to Pope Leo XIII by polish landlords who resided in the Baltic States; the
original is preserved by the Vatican Apostolic Library. In the Baltic States,
there are no equal-value analogues of the album in terms of concept, content
and design. The content is enormously impressive: the album has 70 parchment pages
and contains a wealth of visual and textual material about Livonian castles,
castle ruins, churches, the coats of arms used by ancient families of noble descent,
seals, historical personalities, and impressions of ancient silver and gold
In March 2014, many-year joint
efforts of the National Library of Latvia and the Vatican
Apostolic Library have borne fruit: 10 full-size facsimile copies and 1000 reduced-size
facsimile copies of the album (together with scholarly commentaries) have been
During the event, the first editions
of the facsimile copies of the album „Terra Mariana. 1186–1888” (with commentaries)
were gifted to the major contributors, including the patron of arts Valeri Belokon.
The Director of the National Library of Latvia Andris Vilks specifically
expressed his gratitude to V. Belokon who had sponsored the publication of
the album in the crisis-hit country. At that time, the funding could not be
received from the government or church budget.
The presentation of the album „Terra
Mariana. 1186–1888″ (with commentaries) was held as part of the
event „At the crossroads of Latvia’s identity”. The event was arranged to
celebrate the canonisation (elevating to sainthood) of two distinguished Popes – John XXIII and John
Paul II. The event „At
the crossroads of Latvia’s identity” was organised
by the National Library of Latvia, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of the Republic of Latvia and the Roman Catholic Church of Latvia and
was sponsored by Baltic International Bank.