Big Christopher, the city's protector from floods and other natural disasters, first appeared in the 16th century, in a small cave by a bank of the Daugava River. Legend says that one day after returning home from carrying the Christ child across the deep waters of the river, the humble giant found a pile of gold which he used to build Riga. For centuries he has been a symbol of the city, and its inhabitants paid tribute to him with flowers and lit candles, asking for his blessing before embarking on a long journey. In modern times, Big Christopher was moved to the safety of the Museum of Riga's History and Navigation. Today, a replica stands in a small glass structure on the bank of the Daugava, so he might once again greet seafaring visitors and keep a close watch over the city he built.