significant portion sights of Riga concentrated in the heart of the city - Old Riga, where the streets are still lined with cobblestones and where the medieval atmosphere of the city is felt. The Latvian Tourism Development Center identifies 15 attractions in the center of Riga and 28 in its vicinity.
St. Peter's Church
Since 1202, next to this place was the castle of the Order of the Swordsmen. The adjoining houses and courtyards received the name of the courtyard of the convention by the name of the type of development. Citizens of Riga, trying to free themselves from the power of the Order at the end of the 13th century, destroyed the castle and the buildings adjacent to it. But in 1330 the city was defeated and was forced to build a new castle on the banks of the Daugava, and the hospital courtyard of the old castle began to be called the Convention of the Holy Spirit. Here, since 1488, a monastery of tertiary was built. Now the Courtyard of the Convention is an independent world in the center of the Old Town, including a hotel, a porcelain museum, antique shops and numerous cafes. Only two entrances lead to the courtyard of the Convention, which are locked at night.
St. Peter's Church edit |A bit of history
Since 1150 various merchants stop near the Riga River, forming small settlements. The earliest mention of this dates back to 1198, which describes the battles between the living Livian tribe and the first occupiers of the territory - the crusaders.
In 1199, from the city of Bremen, the priest Albert was appointed to the post of bishop of Livonia. In 1201, on his orders, the first stone church was built - the Dome Cathedral, which marked the beginning of the founding of the city. Since that time, the construction of the fortress walls begins, the first mention of the city in the chronicles appears, Albert is considered the founder of Riga.
Where is it located?
Previously, the Old Town was located on the banks of the Riga River. As a result of constant construction work, all the garbage fell into the river, after which it almost disappeared from the map of the city center. In 1860, the remaining rivulet was taken to an underground canal that led to the Daugava River (Western Dvina).
The old city of Riga is called Old Town, located on the right bank of the Daugava River, famous for its cathedrals and historical buildings. More than 70 buildings in Riga were built according to the designs of Janis Baumanis.
Currently, the Old Town is bounded by the embankment on November 11, 13 January Street, Krishjan Valdemara Street and Aspaziyas and Siegfried Anna Meyerovitsa Boulevards.
What transport can I get?
Easy to get to the center from the train or car station. The fact is that they themselves are in the center of the city, just walk a few meters and you are there. The path will take you about 10 minutes, since the distance is about 500-600 meters.
There is a large passenger port in Riga, from which you can also get to the center of the city, either on foot, though you will have to go a lot more than from the bus station or by tram. On foot about 2 km, this is 20 minutes on the road, with tram number 11,5,7,9 you can get to the Aspazijas bulvāris stop and walk a bit to the border of the old town.
If you arrived in Riga by plane, you can get to the center directly from the airport. There are several transport options.:
- The first is the express bus number 322. Route: P133, Kārļa Ulmaņa gatve, Lielirbes iela, Kalnciema iela, Daugavgrīvas iela, Raņķa dambis, Uzvaras bulvāris, 11.novembra krastmala, Marijas iela, 13.janvāra iela, Marijate iela, Ielajes iela, At the airport you should drive 12 stops, get off at 11.novembra street, and you will find yourself in the very center of Riga. Bus interval 10 minutes.
- There is also a city shuttle bus number 22, which also connects the airport with the center of Riga. His route: P133, Kārļa Ulmaņa gatve, Lielirbes iela, Kalnciema iela, Daugavgrīvas iela, Raņķa dambis, Akmens tilts, Uzvaras bulvāris, 11.novembra krastmala, 13.janvāra iela, Turgeņevaļela iela, We leave at the same stop as in the previous route.
- City bus number 241 also goes to the city center, only on a different route. P133, Kārļa Ulmaņa gatve, Lielirbes iela, Upesgrīvas iela, Apuzes iela, Anniņmuižas iela, Rostokas iela, Zolitūdes iela, Rostokas iela, Kurzemes prospekts, Zentenes iela, Anniņmuižas Kurstesela, Klama Kurmaul, Valdemāra iela, Vanšu tilts, K.Valdemāra iela, Elizabetes iela, K.Valdemāra iela, Brīvības bulvāris. The bus route takes longer than the previous ones and you should get off at Elizabetes iela stop and walk a bit.
On average, the duration of a trip from the airport to the center will take you about 30-40 minutes on any of the buses.
The Dome Cathedral
The main temple of Riga, translated as "House of God". The foundation of the cathedral served as a sign to begin the construction of the city. The cathedral was built for a long time, changed its shape, as a result, it is a facade with one tower with a small domed completion with a cockerel.
The main attraction in the cathedral is the organ, which at the time of construction was the largest in the world.
House of the Blackheads
The House of the Blackheads is located on Town Hall Square. The house got its strange name because of the guild of merchants who rented the building. The guild recruited mainly young and unmarried foreigners. They had their own charter, hierarchy, which allowed them to successfully trade and not find trouble with robbers and pirates.
The patron saint of the guild - St. Mauritius, was black, hence the name of the refuge - the House of the Blackheads.
The building of the Big and Small Guilds
The organization of Riga merchants and artisans, founded in 1226. The building of the Small Guild now has a school of artisans, as well as various concerts. In the building of the Great Guild, meetings were previously held with nonresident merchants and the conclusion of various transactions. Today there is a philharmonic society.
House with cats
The house with cats was built in 1909. It belonged to the Latvian merchant Blumer. The merchant really wanted to join the Great Guild, where only German merchants were accepted. He was not accepted there and the owner ordered to make two cats, which he installed on each of the towers of his house, turning their tails in the direction of the Great Guild building.
Subsequently, he was nevertheless accepted into the company of merchants and one of the cats on the building was turned in the opposite direction. Today on the building there are two sculptures of cats looking in different directions, and the house itself was named Black Cat House or Cat House.
The very first Town Hall was built in 1226. It was completely destroyed during the Second World War. The modern Town Hall - an exact copy of the old one, appeared on Riga Street in 2003, the Riga City Council is located there.
Town Hall Square
Located in the very center of the Old Town. In the XIII century, the square was called Market Square, every day taking many merchants selling various goods. By the XIV century, the area began to be built up. The House of the Blackheads, the City Hall, appears on it.
In the Middle Ages, inquisition of citizens suspected of evil spirits took place on the square. The modern Town Hall Square includes the building of the House of the Blackheads, the Museum of Occupation, and, in fact, the Town Hall itself. Various festive events are held on holidays, and the Christmas market is held on New Year's Eve.
Church of Jacob
Jacob's Church - the main Catholic Church in Latvia. It was founded in 1225, was located outside the medieval city of Riga, for which it received the nickname - “the most famous rural church in Latvia”.
The building of the Riga Sejm
Built in 1867 by architects Robert Pflug and Janis Baumanis. Previously called Knight's House. After numerous overhauls, by 1923, the first parliament of the republic - the Sejm - appeared in the building.
The only remaining from the fortress wall. Since the 1330s, the tower has been constantly bombarded; you can find stuck cannonballs in it. Now the tower is the Military Museum of Latvia.
Riga is a beautiful city with a long history. Visiting the Old Town, you can fully feel the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, plunge into the secrets of that time and understand what the townspeople lived. Gingerbread houses and old pavers will not leave anyone indifferent. Not without reason, in 1967, the Old Town received the status of a protected area; by 1997 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.