Riga Sights and Landmarks Guide, Latvia
Riga, the capital city of Latvia, situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea, is one of the most beautiful cities in north-eastern Europe. Along with Vilnius and Tallinn, other former Soviet cities who have risen to fame, Riga is a great tourist destination that combines the heritage of the past with modern elements. The city’s old quarter is a World Heritage site. The city’s many churches, old buildings, museums, as well as its lively nightlife make Riga a perfect holiday spot for any category of tourists. This Riga Sights Guide will provide short descriptions of Riga’s major landmarks, so you’ll know exactly what to see when visiting this charming city.
Riga Sights - Architecture
Riga is most famous for its old quarter, Vecriga, which is considered unique in Europe. The predominant architectural style is Jugendstil, the German equivalent of Art Nouveau. Vecriga is the original core of the city, once surrounded by a sturdy city wall. The quarter is essentially pedestrian, and it hosts many churches and cathedrals, including the beautiful St. Peter’s Church, with its majestic tower, built at the beginning of the 13th century. A quaint fact about this church is that the tower was struck by lightning no less than six times, and had to be completely rebuilt twice. Another famous building in Riga is the Lutheran Cathedral, the largest and most important medieval cathedral in Latvia. The cathedral possesses the second largest pipe organ in the country, over a century old and decorated in baroque and rococo styles.
This Riga Sights Guide recommends that you visit Riga Castle, a must see for any tourist visiting the city. Built in the 14th century on the banks of the Daugava River, this castle has gone through many changes since its foundation were laid. Nowadays, Riga Castle is the residence of the President of Latvia, and is also home to several museums. Other interesting buildings include The Three Brothers, Blackhead’s House and the Great and Small Guilds.
Riga Sights - Museums and Monuments
The Latvian War Museum is located in the Powder Tower, a former gunpowder warehouse, built in the 17th century. The museum has permanent displays dedicated to the Latvian soldiers who fought in the two World Wars, Latvian army and navy and several other historical artefacts from the 20th century. The Occupation Museum is another great place where you can learn about Latvia’s history. There are many other interesting museums, such as the Porcelain Museum, which hosts an impressive collection of rare porcelain objects, some of which date back to the 19th century. The Rundale Palace is the most impressive rococo building in the city, having belonged for centuries to some of the most respected noble families in the country. The exhibitions on display in the museum include collections of porcelain, silverware, furniture and art.
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