Saliena Church was built in 1894 from abated rocks and it had brick lining inside. Church was consecrated in 1895.
History of the church:
Saliena parish is one of the oldest Orthodox parishes in environs of Ilūkste. First wooden church on land of Saliena manor was built in 1760. As time passed the wooden constructions became unsafe, that’s why in 1859 in concordance with the order of the eparchy it was closed and demolished. In the same year owing to means allocated by landlord of Saliena manor Nīmans near Tartaka cemetery there was built and consecrated new wooden church which received the name of St. Nikolaos the Wonderworker. It wasn’t spacious (only 18m long and 8m wide) and its appearance was depressive. In 1889, when archdiocese was established, archbishop of Rīga Arsenijs personally ascertained that in Saliena it was necessary to build new church, and he promised parish members to find means for this purpose. In May of 1890 were started negotiations about the purchase of piece of land for construction of new church, school and household building. Local landlords – von Neimans – agreed to donate for this ambition 5 hectares of building plot. Owing to efforts of bishop of Rīga Arsenijs means for building were received from large-scale merchant from St. Petersburg A.I.Gruzdev. Building of new church (23.63m long, 10.64m wide and 7m high) was finished in 1894 and it cost 6000 roubles. In 27 August 1895 it was solemnly consecrated and received the name of St. John the Baptist.
Saliena Church was built of abated rocks and it had brick lining inside. Iconostasis was one-storey and artistically of high quality. For blessing of Saliena parish members archbishop of Riga Arsenijs in day of consecration of the church sent icon “Erecting of Jesus’ Cross”, but large-scale merchant from St. Petersburg A.Gruzdev donated 650 roubles for purchase of church objects and for church equipping. Old wooden church in 1921 was transported to piece of land that was in possession of the church and was rearranged into the school. For the needs of priest’s house in March of 1898 archdiocese for 4450 purchased from landlord Henriha Nīmana 2 wooden buildings with household outhouses. Wherewithal area of the land that was in possession of the church increased up to 8.57 hectares. In 1898 in Saliena parish there were 1110 members, but in 1938 – 643.