Riga Things to Do Tips by Lilasel
Riga Things to Do: 713 reviews and 1,383 photos
One of the architectural treasures of Riga. Dating from 1344. In the 15th century the house was rented out to the Blackheads Merchant Guilt and became their property in 1713. Blackheads was an organisation of unmarried foreign merchants, existing in several Baltic medieval towns. This beautiful Gothic building was destroyed in 1941,but it was just recently rebuilt for the celebration of Riga's 800th anniversary in 2001.
Open 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon.
P.S. Don't forget to check my travelogue about Blackheads' house with many pictures.
Address: Ratslaukums 7
Phone: Tel: (+371) 704 43 00
In 1999 the Latvian National Opera celebrated its 80th anniversary. The construction of this magnificent structure was completed in 1863 and originally intented to house the City of Riga`s German Theatre.
"The White House" as it is fondly known in Riga re-emerged immaculate and radiant after the reconstruction in 1995. It now boasts a 967 seat auditorium authentically restored as a pristine museum interior circa 1882, and a stage complete with state of the art state technology.It became the home of the Latvian National Opera as a result of a production of Richard Wagner`s The Flying Dutchman in 1919. (Incidentally, Wagner drew his inspiration for the Flying Dutchman during his departure from Riga, where he was the Musical Director of the German Theatre from 1837 to 1839). Rich artistic talents such as Teodor Reiter, Leo Bleh, Emil Kuper and Maris Vetra have graced the threshold of this building. After WWII Rihards Glazups, Edgars Tons, Janis Zabers, Karlis Zarins performed here.The Riga Opera Festival - a recently established annual event in June - has already gained considerable acclaim among international opera lovers. The opera and ballet companies endeavour to satisfy a demanding audience both by featuring world famous stars as presenting exciting new young talents.
St. John's church was built in the Dominican monastery after 1234, first intended as a chapel. After expulsion of the Dominicans in the period of Reformation, the building was privately owned – it was used as a furniture workshop and later as a weapon arsenal. In 1582 it became a part of the Latvian parish. In 1587-89 the eastern part of the altar was added. In the 15th century two monks were immured here of their own free will. Only a small window in the wall to pass them food and drinks was left. The spot where the monks were walled up, and subsequently buried, can be easily seen today, marked by a cruciform barred aperture in the wall.
Address: 24 Skarnu iela
St. Jacob's is one of the oldest churches in Riga, references date back to 1225. At that time it was a church for the suburban residents. After the religious Reformation in the early 16th century it became Lutheran in 1522, in 1582 it was given to the Catholic Order of Jesuits, in the 17th century it belonged to the Swedish garrison and in 1922 the church was turned over to the Catholic community. Now it is Roman-Catholic.
Address: 2 Klostera iela
The monument was designed by the famous Latvian architect Karlis Zale and constructed in 1935. The bronze casting of a woman (fondly nick-named "Milda" by the Latvian folk) holds up three golden stars in her hands. The stars symbolise three Latvian regions: Latgale, Kurzeme and Vidzeme. The guard of honour stands sentinel at the monument from 09.00 until 20.00, the hourly change of guard is very impressive!
in Riga's Zoo
This was the most prosperous part of the city before the war. You still can admire different architectural styles here: Art Nouveau, National Romanticism, Rationalism. But to view architecture isn't the only reason to visit Mezaparks. Riga's most illustrious park is also home to the song festival grounds or estrade, a Zoo, water sports and a haven for in-line skaters. Visit some wildlife, go parasailing, enjoy the scenery or just have a beer at a local cafe.
More pictures from Riga Zoo are in the travelogue
Address: Meža prospekts
Directions: Take tram N°11 from Barona to the Zoologiskais darzs stop (final stop).
The embassy of France in Riga
Riga is also special for the fact that 80-90% of the buildings in the center of the city are houses built on the boundary of the XIX-XX centuries, most of them are Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) buildings. It is exciting to walk around the central streets of the city (Kr. Barona, Chaka, Gertrudes streets) and look at the houses of the buildings - almost every house has an interesting composition on top: a steeple, a clock etc. Alberta and Elizabetes streets are a collection of architectural masterpieces of that time, most of them are reconstructed. It's worth mentioning that M. Eisenstein, the father of a well-known movie director Sergey Eisenstein, born in Riga, is the author of many of these buildings.
The only tower that remained of Riga's fortress wall. Built in the XIII century, it was the largest and protected the land entry of the city until the XVII century. It became Powder Tower in the XVII century as it became the place where powder was kept. The Military museum is now located in it.
Many touristes take a picture of this small castle and sometimes they don't know what is it. Small Guild was built over a century and a half ago. The owners of the Small Guild were an esoteric fellowship of craftsmen formed in the 13th century. Now this building serves cultural and entertainment needs such as artistic parties, concerts, youth disco parties. I took my painting lessons there some years ago...
Address: 5 Amatu street
Directions: The Philharmonic Square
Various buildings of interest such as the Great Guild and the Cat House are located at the Philharmonic Square. A popular place on warm summer evenings when painters, musicians and souvenir craftsmen flock here to trade and practice their respective arts. It's our own Place du Tertre with cozy cafes...
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