Ruins of Castle in Cēsis city (80km (50mi) north-eastward from Riga) is one of the most interesting Latvia's sights.
Originally wooden castle was built in 1209, then several times rebuilt and expanded. Nowadays ruins is what is left since Swedish rule in 17 century. Since 1949 a park and The Cesis history museum are located here.
A photo exhibition of historical moments of Latvia is being located at Station Square these days. All these photos of Modern Latvia were on first pages of newspapers and displayed the reality of those days. Unfortunately, none of my Riga photos were picked up :)
Kurzeme (Courland) is one of the three historical regions of Latvia. It is the richest and the most western region. In the Golden age of Kurzeme, it was an autonomous duchy under Polish rule with own colonies in Western Africa and Caribbean Sea, for example Tobago used to belong to Kurzeme.
Bivouac (Bivak) is the name of the event devoted to historical reconstructed battles, which was being held in Daugavgriva fortress this weekend. A lot of soldiers wearing historical uniform of Swedish, Russian, French, German and other armies of 18-20 centuries inspire the feeling of being moved back for many years by time machine.
Tobago Casino is located in the basement of Hotel Riga, but it is closed since 2008 already. The reason why I write about this forgotten place is its name Tobago, an island in Caribbeans. Not many people know that predecessor of Latvia, The Duchy of Courland, was the owner of this colonial island in 17th century and settled it. In other words, Latvia was one of the first colonizers of Americas.
20 Years ago Latvia, on 4 May of 1990, Latvia proclaimed the independence from Soviet Union. Latvian republic regain its sovereignty, Latvian flags were hung out everywhere in the country. The legend of the flag is that wounded soldier was wrapped in a white sheet. After he died and the body was removed, the sheet was saturated by blood, and the clean white strip was in the middle.
Riga 1st Police Department of Central area is sharing the same building with Fire Department. First department is one of the oldest in Riga. The building itself was built in 1886 on Matisa street. History of Riga police dates from the beginning of 1880s, when policemen started to patrol busy streets and places like markets, stations, hotels. Initially policemen were only Germans, who very rarely could speak Latvian or Russian, therefore their efficiency was extremely low. After some years Riga council began to draft into police the retired soldiers, who were able to speak language of the common people. Nowadays there are 15 Police departments in Riga.
This metal doors of the former NKVD building (later KGB) is untypical monument, which will always remind to people how many victims were tortured and killed because of wrong political views during the early Soviet times aka Stalin's era. Today is the Monthly theme, which is Doorways. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants
Apsīšu rūnakmens (Apsites rune stone) located just several kilometers from Rūjiena town. It is one of the oldest memorials in Latvia and dated circa 9th century AD. Runestone is left by Scandinavian vikings visiting these lands for trading with Latvian ancestors.
In heraldry an escutcheon or scutcheon is the shield displayed in a coat of arms. Riga escutcheon has several elements, each of them symbolize different meaning Two towers - symbol of city rights Gate with golden lion head looking at you - strength and safety Two crossed black keys - the patronage of the pope Golden noble crown - feudal authority Golden cross - Christianity All symbols placed are on silver shield, which stands for peace and sincerity
Riga had town wall almost since it was founded. Nowadays only two pieces of that wall are still remained. One of them is located between Marstalu and Minsterejas streets, just next to November 11 embankment. The building of town wall was the business of every Riga citizen. Each person living in medieval Riga had to help built the wall. It was like a hut tax.
Palasta iela (Palace street) is a small street in old town with a big name. Palace street is famous because of the house which was the residence of Peter I the Great of Russia in the beginning of 18 century. At that time, in 1710 Riga became city of newly raised Russian Empire and remained in it until it had fallen during 1st World War.
The main entrance to Viesnīca Rīga (Hotel Riga), the symbolic hotel of early Soviet period in Latvia. The hotel was built in 1956 in the place of former Hotel Roma, which was destroyed during Second World War during air strike. By a legend it was Soviet pilot, who was given an order to bomb Library monument, but as soon he saw the Milda statue, he decided to drop the bomb on the building standing next by.
Swastika is flying over Riga buildings because Latvian Legioners got approval for their new event. A joke! :) Miss Irena's Children movie is being filmed in Riga this days. This movie tells the story about Polish jews during Second World War, and will be released in 2009.
Today is a big date in Latvia. 90 years since our country became independent from Russia and Germany. At that time, in 1918 there was no such word Latvia at all. The country was formed from the lands belonging to two big neighbours, but the people was speaking in one Latvian language. During that time Russia wanted to recover their authority on their former land. And Germany wanted to create The United Baltic Duchy from territories where Latvia and Estonia are now. This Baltic Duchy would be under the German rule. All their plans fell to the ground, because of people like Karlis Ulmanis, which made dreams about the country for Latvian people came true.
This sad monument located in Mežaparks area reminds people of brutal regime. Writing on granite stone means Deportētajiem, ceļā un svešumā mirušajiem Latvijas bērniem To deported children of Latvia died on the road and in strange lands During years 1941-1949 about 35 thousands of people were deported from Latvia as part of the procedure for carrying out of Anti-Soviet Elements.
The Lucavasala Monument to 400 russian soldiers fallen down here in July 10, 1701 during the Great Northern War. The Russian forces tried to cover the retreat of Russian-Saxon army, but the whole battalion was destroyed by Swedes. The writing is in pre-reform russian langues is Памяти 400 русских войновъ геройски павшихъ при защитѣ острова "10 іюля 1701 года"
Latvijas Etnogrāfiskais brīvdabas muzejs (Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum) is one of the largest and the most interesting museums in Riga. The huge collection of all ethnic group households living in Latvia territory for the past thousands years. The territory of museum is almost one square kilometer, so it will take a while to see all exhibits.
Trokšņu iela (Noisy Street) is very narrow street in Old Town, basically it is one of Riga historical sights. This area has rich history, it was formed next to city wall in the 13Th century. It is Noisy because of a lot of trade shops was here. In the 19Th century Trokšņu iela became the haunt of prostitutes who rented the one-roomed apartments in houses along the street. At that time you only needed to clap your hands and women's heads would appear from the upper windows beckoning you to enter. Nowadays Noisy street looks more as Calm street, because of its small size and quiet location next to Latvian Parliament. Swedish Gate located on Troksnu iela.
Св. Троицкий Задвинский приход aka Рижская православная церковь Св. Троицы (Riga Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, in Latvian Rīgas Sv. Trijādības pareizticīgo baznīca) is the only Orthodox Church in Pardaugava. It has not only colourful design, but very long and interesting history. The Church in that area was hundreds years before Riga was founded by Roman Catholic Bishop Albert. At that time this area was an island with still bays and it was important point on the Trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. Travelling traders, loggers, craftsman lived here, and many of them were members of the Orthodox Church. During ages the Church was rebuilt, moved and renamed several times. Last time it was built anew in 1895 in Moscow Orthodox architecture style.
Spilves lidosta (Spilve Airport) also given as Rīga Central Airport compare to Riga West Airport. Spilve airfield start to be used during First World War. And after 15 years, in 1930s Spilve became as Riga International Airport, serving direct flights to Tallinn, Vilnius and Kaunas, which connected Riga to big cities as Helsinki, Berlin, Moscow and Warsaw. Flights were operated by Nazi Lufthansa and Soviet Aeroflot. After Second World War airport has been rebuilt and became the hub of Aeroflot. Since late 1980s Spilve Airprot serving training flights and small private airplanes due it closeness to Riga Center, which is just 5km. (Basically between Ilguciems and Bolderaja) Airport building reminds imposing soviet epoch, and is worth to be seen. See also photo of Airport Terminal made from another side.
Uzvaras Piemineklis (Victory Monument) is a large military monument in Pardaugava Victory Park. The monument was erected in the spring of 1985 to commemorate the victory over the fascism during the 2nd World War. The central Obelisk symbolizing salute volley, statue on the left is the statue of the Mother Motherland, and on the right are soldiers representing different types of forces.
Victory Monument is always in the middle of enmity between Russian and Latvian communities. Obelisk was blown up several times during the last 15 years. Latvian patriots say that monument is symbolizing Soviet Occupation, but not the Victory.
16 March is a kind of Patriots' Day in Latvia. This Day few Nazi veterans, who still alive, lay wreaths on Freedom Monument in Riga. It is not an official holiday anymore (it was till 2000). Worldwide Nazism is convicted, but not in Latvia. 16 March is used by the Right political parties as Hate Speech Day between Latvian and Russian communities in Latvia. This is a big waste of time and money. Just imagine how much cost to protect those 50 old dudes from furious contraries. Everybody should understand that there is nothing about the freedom.
Please don't be afraid, Latvia is not preparing to new war :) This barricades was set up in front of Latvian Academy of Art as part of exposition to remember events was held during early 1991. In 1991 Latvia achieved independence from USSR. Some fights occurred in Center of Riga, and some barricades were placed in the city. Latvian government spend a lot of money every year on such things. Why this year? 17 years isn't so big anniversary. What they want to prove or to show?
Brīvības iela means Street of Freedom in Latvian language. It is the main drag in Riga. Dividing East part of Riga into two parts. Brīvības iela is so long, that different parts of it named as boulevard, street or highway. The name of it has been changed several times regarding to political regime in Riga. In the early beginning it was Petersburg road (18th century) It was Александровскiй бульваръ or Alexanderboulevard (Alexander Blvd), when Riga was in Russian empire. Then Brīvības iela during First Latvian Republic times (Freedom monument was built). After that Adolf-Hitler-Straße (Adolf Hitler st.) during German Nazi occupation. Then Улица Ленина (Lenin st.) during Soviet period. And now it's again Brīvības iela, after Latvia gained Independence in 1991. What could be next? Bush Street, or maybe Ulitsa Putina? :)
Rīgas Sv. Pētera baznīca (Riga St. Peter's Church) is the main Riga sight during ages since 15th century. Few times it was the tallest building in Europe by various categories. It was completely destroyed in 18th century by fire and 20th century during Second World War. Frontal Attires is quite nice as well :) View taken from Grēcinieku iela (street)
This building in the middle of Historical center of Riga irritate many people in Riga. This black box is the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. Instead of removing it, government decide to expand it in the immediate future.
Where was placed the first decorated Christmas Tree? :) This is a very controversial point, but the first documented reference appeared in Riga in 1510. To memorize this occasion in front of Blackheads' House 3 years ago was placed a plaque with writings in 8 languages. Nowadays every year, just few meters from this monument, new Christmas tree is placed. Again, Merry Christmas :D UPDATED: Revealed that Christmas tree is older than 500 years.
This old pier located in Daugava river in Riga. It is ruins of Iron Bridge blown up by Nazi army during Second World War. When Nazi army surrendered Riga in 1944, they tried to demolish all stragetic objects in Riga, including all bridges, stations, warehouses, etc.
This is Mārtiņa kapi (Cemetery of Martin) in Riga. Most of tombs here were buried more than one hundred years ago. Some of them even 250 years ago. Interesting that writings on tombstones are in German, English, Russian, Hebrew and Latvian language. It shows that Riga was very multicultural city all its history. See also Lutheran Church, which is just next to this cemetery.
Yesterday was Lāčplēša diena (day of Lacplesis - Latvian National epic hero), that day in 1919 Riga was liberated from German army. Excelled participants of this battles were awarded with order of Lāčplēsis. Since them every year people gather around President's Castle to place a candle as a keepsake for those people who died for Riga liberation.
Originally this blog was started by Dace, the designer from Riga in October 2006. Blog have been working just for 4 days. And then, because of lack of time, blog has been stopped to be updated everyday.
In November 2007 blog continued to be updated by Artem. His first photo was Dear Passengers :)
Riga is also known as: Riga, Riga, Rige, Rigo, Riha, Riia, Riika, Ryga, Ryha, Рига, Ріга, Рыга, Lijia, Hbuf
Some other keywords for this blog: Latvia, Latvija, Lettland, Letonia, Lettonie, foto, fotos, pictures, images
Bildes par Rigu un pilsetas apkartni | Фотографии Риги и окрестностей
Sometimes Photos are a little bit edited & Sometimes stories are a little bit fibbed :)
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