Riga Old Town
Length: 1 day / 2 - 4 hours
Participants: 1 +
Availability: All year
Guide during the whole tour
Riga Old Town is the heart and soul of Latvia. The winding cobblestone streets and a harmonious combination of architecture pearls from different centuries will make you feel like in a fairy tale. Riga has one of the largest and best preserved collections of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. In 1997, Riga's historic center was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
St Peter’s Church
Riga St Peter’s Church is the tallest peak in Riga and one of the oldest and most valuable monuments of medieval architecture in the Baltic States. History of St Peter’s Church goes back to 1209, however only some of the walls have remained from that time. The current basilica was created during renovation in the 15th century and had 130 meters tall Gothic tower. In 1523 St Peter’s Church turned from Catholic to Lutheran. Tower of St Peter’s church was destroyed several times during history until 1967, when renovation took place and metal construction with elevator was built. Nowadays St Peter’s Church tower offers a sightseeing platform with a breathtaking 360 view of Old Town and modern Riga.
Funded entirely by donations from residents The Freedom Monument symbolizes Latvian statehood, national unity, independence and freedom. Monument is the work of an outstanding Latvian sculptor Karlis Zale, implemented by architect Ernests Stalbergs. Unveiled on November 18, 1935 monument is 42.7 meter high and consists of 56 sculptures which depict Latvian history and culture. On the top there is a 9 meters long copper sculpture of a young woman holding three golden stars above her head, which symbolizes the unity of three historical regions of Latvia - Vidzeme, Latgale and Kurzeme. The honor guard is present at the foot of the monument during the day.
House of the Blackheads
House of the Blackheads was built in 1334 as a place for gathering of traders for many centuries. Brotherhood of Blackheads included young and unmarried merchants of foreign, mostly German, descent, who were known for organizing various celebrations and events. Members of the brotherhood become part of Riga’s patrician elite, serving as councilors, members of the Great Guild and respected members of the city’s community. Unfortunately the building was destroyed by bombs during the Second World War but was fully rebuilt in 1999. Today House of Blackheads is one of the most picturesque buildings in Latvia.
Riga Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in the Baltics. Cathedral was built by Livonian Bishop Albert of Riga in 1201. In the 14th-15th centuries, the church was transformed into a basilica, raising the central nave, constructing the western cross-nave and side chapels, as well as raising the tower to 140 meters, which made it the tallest tower in Riga of that time.
The building of Riga Cathedral combines features of Romanesque, Early Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau styles. Riga Dome Cathedral has been one of the major venues for concerts in Riga for hundreds of years. Also today, official services and concerts feature various musical performances. The Riga Dome Cathedral organ belongs to the highest achievements of organ building of the late Romanticism period and is an excellent monument to the history of music.
Alberta street is a walking distance away from the Old Town and is known as the main Art Nouveau street in Riga. The area was built in just 7 years from 1901 to 1908 and 8 of the buildings are nowadays recognized as architectural monuments of national significance. Buildings are lavishly decorated with various symbols and mythological characters. The Riga Art Nouveau Museum is also located on Alberta Street, where everyone can become acquainted with this unique style and explore the building from inside.
These are just some of the main sights we recommend to visit during our excursion, but there are many more- Latvian National Opera, Swedish gate, Cat house, the Great and Small Guilds, The Art Museum RIGA BOURSE, Jacob’s Barracks, Three Brothers, Bastion Hill, The Powder Tower and many other. The tour will be customized according to your interests and wishes.
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