What to See in Riga (Latvia)
Riga is the capital and cultural center of Latvia. This is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Riga was founded in 1201 by German knights and became the capital of independent Latvia in 1920. The appearance of the city was influenced by German, Swedish, Polish and Russian cultures, there are a lot of historical sights, so Riga was included in the UNESCO list of architectural heritage.
The old town is built up with medieval buildings – the Dome Cathedral, St. Peter ‘s Cathedral, the Swedish Gates, the Riga Castle, the Powder Tower. Riga Castle was founded in 1330, now the residence of the President of Latvia is located here. In addition, several museums are open in the castle: Museum of Foreign Art, History of Latvia, Literature, Theater and Music.
The Dome Cathedral and the monastery on the square of the same name were founded in 1211, its construction continued for many centuries. The cathedral is adorned with a 90-meter tower, and inside it is one of the largest organs in the world. The height of this organ is 25 m, width – 11 m. The sounds of the organ are constantly heard in the Cathedral and divine services are regularly held.
According to ITYPEJOB, the main church building of medieval Riga – St. Peter ‘s Cathedral. The first mention of it refers to 1209. Until recently, it was the tallest building in the city (123 m). There are two observation decks on the church tower, which can be reached by elevator, and the spire of the tower is crowned with a rooster.
Near the cathedral stands the House of the Blackheads, named after the famous brotherhood of merchants – the Brotherhood of the Blackheads. It was first mentioned in 1334 as a meeting place for citizens. It was a beautiful Gothic building in the spirit of the Dutch Renaissance. The House of the Blackheads was badly damaged during World War II and was restored in 2001 for the 800th anniversary of Riga. On the square in front of the House of the Blackheads there is a statue of Roland – a symbol of judicial power, freedom and independence of the medieval city, as well as the protection of trade. Now there is a museum and a concert hall.
It is interesting to see the Swedish Gates, which were cut into the Riga fortress wall in the 17th century; they have survived to this day. The Powder Tower, where gunpowder was stored in the Middle Ages, remained untouched, now the Military Museum is located here.
In the center of Riga stands the Freedom Monument – a symbol of Latvia ‘s independence. It was erected in 1931-1935 according to the design of the architect Karlis Zale. The monument is the Statue of Liberty, which holds three stars in its hands – the symbols of the historical regions of Latvia: Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Latgale. A guard of honor is installed near the monument.
As in all ancient European cities in Riga There is a Central Market. This is one of the largest markets in Europe, its area is about 73 thousand square meters. It consists of four main pavilions – meat, fish, vegetable, dairy.
Be sure to visit the Ethnographic Museum – an open-air museum where you will see Latvia in miniature.
Cēsis is located in the Vidzeme region in the northern part of Latvia. The city was founded in 1207. Tourists come here to look at the Riekstu Kalis (Nut Hill) hillfort with the remains of ancient fortifications. Here is the castle of the Livonian Order, the best preserved of all the castles of that time. The construction of the castle dates back to 1207. It is one of the few monuments of such ancient architecture that have survived to this day, it combines elements of Gothic, Classicism and Baroque. Now a costumed theatrical performance is being organized here: knights in armor meet guests, torches burn, ancient music sounds, dances are performed, and a real medieval meal is offered. In addition, in Cesis there is the largest church of St. John in Vidzeme, which was built in the 13th century.
Not far from Cēsis you can visit the “Great Waterfall”, which consists of 7 springs. The height of the waterfall is 7.5 m, which makes it the highest multi-stage waterfall in Latvia.
From Cēsis it is easy to get to the ski center Žagarkalns. Here, tourists are offered 7 tracks to choose from, four of them are about 200 meters long (height difference – 50 meters), the rest – 180-220 meters with a height difference of 45 meters. 11 ski lifts deliver skiers to the slopes.