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The St. Peter and Paul’s Cathedral is the most striking landmark of the city. The cathedral is the most dominant architectural landmark both due to its impressive height (the apex of the tower reaches 70 m.) and the convenient and location. The location is the merit of builders of the first wooden church of Šiauliai. According to Samogitian bishop, writer, and historian Motiejus Valančius the wooden church was built in 1445 under the leadership of the elder of Samogitia Mykolas Kęsgaila. Today, little is known about the church. The only piece of information left is the 1629 visitation act, stating that the church was wooden, old, and decaying, and a new brick church was being built right next to it.
The construction of the new church began approsimately in 1617. Today it is believed that the works were initiated by Samogitian bishop Mikalojus Pacas, while the main sponsor was the governor of Šiauliai economy Jeronimas Valavičius. On October 8, 1634, the bishop of Samogitia Jurgis Tiškevičius consecrated the new church of Šiauliai. It is interesting that the mechanical clock in the church tower was funded by the residents of the city.
Today, the appearance of the cathedral is slightly altered from the way it looked initially. Wars and storms devastated the church time and time again. It had to be reconstructed every other decade. The church was never the same after lightning struck its apex in July of 1880, burning down the wooden rotunda-style roof. The building was also damaged during World War I, but it suffered the most during World War II. All the wooden parts of the building (such as the roof, tower ceilings, interior fittings and the apex) burned down; art works, altars, organs, and furniture were turned into ashes.
After the war, the restoration of the church had begun. It lasted more than a decade: reconstruction works were completed only in 1956. On May 8, 1997, by the decision of Pope John Paul II, Šiauliai diocese was founded and the church became St. Apostles Peter and Paul’s Cathedral. The rector of Kaunas Theological Seminary, priest Eugenijus Bartulis, was appointed the first bishop of Šiauliai.