Riga, Latvia

Doma Laukums (Dome Square in Vecriga (Old Town), Riga, Latvia

Doma Laukums (Dome Square in Vecriga (Old Town), Riga, Latvia

 

Riga’s architectural landscape is rich with a fascinating mix of medieval and Jugendstil/Art nouveau architecture characterize Riga, Latvia’s capital city on the banks of the Daugava River, where we docked near the Vecriga (Old Town).  Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former Hanseatic League member.  The Vecriga (Old Town) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  On Elizatetes and Alberta Streets are pale pink, blue and cream-colored facades decorated with figures.  The sprawling city now number approximately 700,000 inhabitants.  Latvia has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and adopted the Euro on 1 January 2014.

 

Rigas Doms (Riga Dome Cathedral) had its foundation stones laid in the 13th century in Vecriga (Old Town); it is a busy music venue and has one of Europe’s largest pipe organs, Riga, Latvia

Rigas Doms (Riga Dome Cathedral) had its foundation stones laid in the 13th century in Vecriga (Old Town); it is a busy music venue and has one of Europe’s largest pipe organs, Riga, Latvia

 

Vecriga (Old Town) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Riga, Latvia

Vecriga (Old Town) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Riga, Latvia

 

“It is generally recognized that Riga has the finest and the largest collection of art nouveau buildings in the world.  This is due to the fact that at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, when Art Nouveau was at the height of its popularity, Riga experienced an unprecedented financial and demographic boom.  In the period from 1857 to 1914 its population grew from 282,000 to 558,000 making it the 4th largest city in the Russian Empire (after Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Warsaw) and its largest port. The bourgeoisie of Riga used their wealth to build imposing apartment blocks around the former city walls.  Local architects, mostly graduates of Riga Technical University, adopted current European movements, and in particular Art Nouveau. In that period around 800 Art Nouveau buildings were erected. The majority of them are concentrated in the central part of Riga and a few more in the Old Town.” — Wikipedia

 

House of the Blackheads, built in 1334 -- destroyed in World War II and fully rebuilt in 1999 -- is the temporary home of Latvia’s president (while Rigas Pils is renovated); it is a popular venue for concerts and events, Riga, Latvia

House of the Blackheads, built in 1334 — destroyed in World War II and fully rebuilt in 1999 — is the temporary home of Latvia’s president (while Rigas Pils is renovated); it is a popular venue for concerts and events, Riga, Latvia

 

Close-up of the upper level of the façade of House of the Blackheads, Riga, Latvia

Close-up of the upper level of the façade of House of the Blackheads, Riga, Latvia

 

Constructed in 1209, Sv Peteara (St. Peter’s Church) is an excellent example of Gothic architecture from the 13th century; it has Riga’s tallest church spire and is included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Riga, Latvia

Constructed in 1209, Sv Peteara (St. Peter’s Church) is an excellent example of Gothic architecture from the 13th century; it has Riga’s tallest church spire and is included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Riga, Latvia

Residences and a restaurant in Vecriga (Old Town) with the spire of Rigas Doms (Riga Dome Cathedral) in the background, Riga, Latvia

Residences and a restaurant in Vecriga (Old Town) with the spire of Rigas Doms (Riga Dome Cathedral) in the background, Riga, Latvia

 

11 p.m. sunset at Vansu Tilts (Vansu Bridge), a cable-stayed bridge that crosses the Daugava River in Riga, opened to the public in 1981 as the Gorky Bridge (after Maxim Gorky Street, under the USSR controlled government), Latvia

11 p.m. sunset at Vansu Tilts (Vansu Bridge), a cable-stayed bridge that crosses the Daugava River in Riga, opened to the public in 1981 as the Gorky Bridge (after Maxim Gorky Street, under the USSR controlled government), Latvia

 

3 thoughts on “Riga, Latvia

  1. So many beautiful pictures of Riga! I visited Riga in July of 1993, and rejoiced to see that country moving fully into its independence from Russia. So its great to see how its looking more than 20 years later. Pat Mutch. TSR Posh Squash gardener (Thursdays).

    Like

  2. Rich,

    It is very meaningful to see these pictures of Riga since that is where my maternal great grandmother was born! Steve

    Like

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