Live Riga


Riga Castle

In 1201, a new city was founded on the banks of the Daugava River - Riga. A little over a hundred years later, the Livonian Order, a branch of the Teutonic Order, began building its residence on this site. Over the centuries, the castle has survived various rulers and wars and been destroyed several times but was always rebuilt. Since 1922, Riga Castle is the residence of the President of Latvia, except for 50 years during Soviet rule, when the Pioneer Palace was established on its premises. The castle is currently under careful renovation to retrieve its former glory. The flag of the Republic of Latvia always flies above the Holy Spirit Tower, as well as the flag of the President if the President is present at the time.

 The Three Brothers Mazā Pils

The name of group of historical residential buildings, The Three Brothers, is very similar to the Three Sisters of Tallinn - former warehouse buildings in the Old Towns of both cities. This is the oldest residential building complex in Riga. Each building was constructed in a different century, the oldest of them, or the older brother" with Gothic niches and steps, was built around 1490. The buildings currently house the Museum of Architecture and it is possible to visit the exhibition hall.

Riga Museum of History and Navigation

The museum, whose origins can be traced back to 1773, is the oldest public museum in Latvia and one of the oldest in Europe. The museum is part of the Riga Cathedral ensemble (constructed between the 13th- 20th centuries), which consists of the church, a Gothic cross-vaulted gallery cloister and a museum, the pride of which is the 18th-century Classicist-style Column Hall, built on the site of the former monastery. In the 16 halls of the museum's exposition, visitors can follow the story of the city of Riga over more than 800 years, allowing them to look at the history and traditions of shipping in the town.

 Powder Tower

The tower's history dates back to 1330, and it is the only free-standing tower out of 28 towers of what was once the fortification wall of Riga. It was originally called the Sand Tower, which probably originated from the sandhills opposite the tower. It got its current name in the 16th century when gunpowder was allegedly stored there or from unbearable powder smoke when all 11 cannons fired simultaneously. The Latvian War Museum resides in the tower since 1919, while in 1937, an additional building was added to it, where most of the exposition is currently located.

House of the Blackheads

The House of the Blackheads was built in 1334 as a meeting place for various public organizations in Riga, and at that time, it was the most luxurious and prestigious building in the entire city. The Blackheads, an association of young, unmarried merchants, goldsmiths, and ship captains, became the tenants of this building at the end of the 15th century. Unfortunately, the building was destroyed during the Second World War, but in 1999 the House of the Blackheads was rebuilt and regained its former glory. Today, a visit to the building is a journey through the centuries, including the building's architecturally glorious façade, newly built halls, and banquet rooms, as well as the preserved historic cellars of the original building.

Town Hall Square

Town Hall Square was the leading trading site in Riga for many centuries. During the Second World War, the square and its historic buildings were destroyed, but many historic buildings and other objects have been completely restored today. The central building of the court- the Town Hall - was rebuilt in 2003 and currently houses the Riga City Council. In the middle of the square is a statue of St Roland, which symbolizes justice and the city's independence. Overlooking the Daugava, the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia also sits on Town Hall Square. Founded in 1993, the museum tells the story and fate of the Latvian state, its people, and its land during successive occupations by various powers from 1940 to 1991.

 St Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church was first mentioned in writings in 1209. In the 15th century, the church was significantly expanded, acquiring a distinct Gothic appearance. One of the symbols of Riga is the church's pointed baroque tower, which has suffered several times over the centuries, especially from lightning - the tower of St. Peter's Church has been struck by lightning six times. Until the Second World War, the tower of St. Peter's Church was the tallest wooden tower in Europe. During World War II, the church burned down, so it was rebuilt. When the last reconstruction works were completed in 1973, an elevator was installed in the church tower, which takes visitors to a panoramic platform, which offers a beautiful view of the red roofs of the Old Town and the Daugava River.

Convent Courtyard

The Convent Courtyard is located in the oldest part of the city. Initially, the castle of Order the Brothers of the Sword was situated in this place. The castle was built in the 13th century but was destroyed at the end of the same century. The name of the Convent Courtyard comes from the Convent of the Holy Spirit, which settled here in the 14th century. Today, the Riga Porcelain Museum is located in the Convent Courtyard, where visitors can learn about Riga's history of porcelain production. The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design resides on the Skärņu Street side of the courtyard. Its exposition reflects the work of Latvia's leading decorative art and design artists.

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