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Walk in the old town of Riga (Vecriga)

Here we visited Latvia, I have long wanted to go to this Baltic country, but somehow did not grow together, it is the case, then the sea to swim want and Latvia respectively had dropped out.

But still done. The most vivid and unforgettable impression of the trip to Latvia, we visited the old town of Riga.

The old town in Riga, the official name of old Riga (Vecriga, you can find also sound Vecriga) - historic centre of Riga, the oldest part of the city, located on the right Bank of the Daugava river. The famous old town primarily for its Cathedral with high towers and spires, small and cosy squares, old architecture, narrow cobbled streets, on both sides of which are a low building, sometimes I look like gingerbread houses, which are located in cafes, bars and restaurants, souvenir shops and small shops.

In a nutshell, and one article to describe all the charms of Riga's old town will be difficult, because we, in the section "Riga", has devoted more than two dozen articles, read them all here. In this article, we will summarize, we will walk through the streets and tell you all the most interesting and visited sights of old Riga.

Photo streets of the old town of Riga

Riga old town

streets of the old city of Riga

old Riga

walking in the old town of Riga

On the streets of old Riga one can see a considerable number of bicycles, Segway, interesting little cars and beer bikes. The principle of beer bikes simple, small design with the driver, often he's the bartender, can fit more than ten people in the bike sell beer, all clients together to pedal and ride through the city, while drinking a beer. Food and snacks to take with you. The only downside, no toilet. And plus, to the old town, with a ride company bike and drink beer. Quite an interesting idea. Like beer bikes exactly a romp through Amsterdam and Berlin, can still where is, I don't know.

Riga, old town

beer bikes in Riga

In the center of old Riga merged variety of architectural solutions. Here you can see how low colorful houses, and artsy buildings, more like small palaces or estates. Or just buildings with interesting ornaments and moldings on the facades.

architecture of Riga

architecture of old Riga

architecture of the old city of Riga

on the streets of old Riga

The unique silhouette of Riga's old town, create a high tower of the three main cathedrals:

- cult in the Baltic countries structure of the medieval Church of St. Peter;

- symbol of the city of Riga - the dome Cathedral and

- the fourth largest Church in Riga - the Cathedral of St. James.

A high tower of these cathedrals are decorated with Petushki another recognizable characteristic is a distinctive element of Riga's old town.

With a visit in the historical part of Riga, with all points visible tall green tower of the Cathedral of St. Peter. This is the main Cathedral of Riga. In the Tower of Peter at the height of 72 meters is an observation deck with a panoramic view of the old town.

St. Peter Cathedral in the old town of Riga

St. Peter Church, Riga old town

Almost at the main entrance to St. Peter's Church, lies the most famous and visited area of old Riga - town hall square. Town hall square is always crowded in the evenings, and street musicians give their concerts. Main sights the town square are the old town Hall, which now houses the Riga city Council, the house of the blackheads and the statue of the knight Roland in the center of the square. The Roland statue is a symbol of freedom of the medieval city. Currently, the original granite statue kept in the Museum of St. Peter's Church and town hall square will have a copy of it.

Town Hall, Town Hall Square, old town of Riga

house of the Blackheads and the statue of Roland, Town Hall Square, Riga old town

Town Hall Square, old town of Riga

At the town hall square there are touts offering city tours. Tell them that you've seen what they offer to see start to mention the other delights of the old town and we offer for a few euros per person to show them. Their chip is a White dog.

What is the white dog? We have decided to learn about what a White dog they say. The street of Riga's old town are narrow and if the building is high considering that there difficult. However, we have this White dog found! It is located just a few dozen steps from the town hall square. White dog statue that adorns the roof of the house № 12/14 on the street Sķuņu.

White dog, Riga

White dog in the old town of Riga

Behind the Cathedral of St. Peter, with its back side, is the most recognizable monument of old Riga - a monument to the Bremen musicians. Animal noses are shiny for a reason. It is believed that making a wish and rubbing the nose of the donkey, the wish will come true. Make a second wish and rubbing the dog's nose, already fulfilled two wishes, and so on. The trick is to land, not using available tools, and without understanding of the monument, to RUB the noses of all four animals and then will come to pass all four wishes.

monument to the Bremen Town musicians, Riga Old town

Here the statue of the Bremen town musicians is a small square with Seating, building a rather interesting architecture and souvenir stalls.

old town, Riga

old town, Riga

In front of the monument, between skārņu streets and Kaleju, are the most famous backyards of old Riga - Konventa seta and Jan Seth. These two charming patio are next to each other so that from one yard to go to another. In the courtyard of Jana seta preserved fragment of the medieval ramparts, and in the summer season is a traditional annual beer garden.

Konventa set and Jana set courtyard, old town, Riga

Continuing her way down the street Kaleju go out into the street Meistaru, and then to the Livu square. Compared with other squares, Livu square is a relatively new area, formed only in the 20th century, after the demolition of the city's buildings destroyed during the Second world war.

On the Livu square broken tracks, places to relax, and the lawn is made in a decorative style waves. This style of lawn mimics the undulating surface of once flowing rivers here.

Livov Square, old town, Riga

On the Livu square is the famous cat house that has an interesting legend, Large and Small guilds, Riga Russian theatre, and saved the complex of buildings of the 17th century. This is our most favorite architectural ensemble in the whole of Riga. The cabins are just adorable.

complex of buildings of the 17th century, old town, Riga

Cat house

Cat House, Livov Square, Riga Old town

Large and Small guilds

Large and Small guilds, Livov Square, old town of Riga

Riga Russian theatre

Riga Russian Theater, Livov Square, Old town, Riga

On the street Kaļķu go to another small area. In this area there is nothing remarkable. Tall buildings around the perimeter, of which hotels, Embassy, Bank, fast food restaurant McDonald's. Here also entertain people by street musicians.

at the exit from the old town of Riga

The most interesting area is perhaps that the tile with foot prints on the ground, symbolizing the path of the Baltic - Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius.

Baltic Way - Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius

From the square you can see two sights of Riga - Freedom Monument and Laima Clock. But they are located outside the old town, though near it.

Freedom Monument near the old town in Riga

Laima Clock

Back in the old town of Riga. To do this, from the square, turning left along the street and Zigfrida Annas Meierovica bulvaris go to the Powder tower, who is now the Military Museum of Latvia.

Gunpowder Tower, now the Military Museum of Latvia, Riga

The Powder tower is a complex of recognizable buildings yellow, extending along the street Torna. It Yakovlevsky barracks or the Jacob's barracks, built in the late 17th century for the Swedish soldiers who defended the city from invading enemies. Currently the barracks are souvenir shops, stores, offices, cafés, pubs and restaurants, as well as companies and representative offices of the cities of Latvia.

On the opposite side of Jacob's barracks, just across the street Torna is part of the wall, a fragment of the former building of Riga city with the Ramer tower.

Jekaba barracks and the city wall with Ramera Tower in Riga

On the front wall of the barracks of the image of the arms of the Latvian cities that have their offices in the institution.

coats of arms on the Jekaba barracks, old town, Riga

Near the Jacob's barracks is located the Cathedral of St. Jacob in Riga. This Church in Riga is the smallest of the main churches in old Riga. But, despite this, it is famous for its aspiring to the heavens slim 80-meter tower, green upper part topped by a spire with a tip in the form of a Golden Cockerel. This is the only genuine Gothic tower in the city, which has never changed its original appearance.

St. James Cathedral, old town, Riga

From the Church of St. Jacob (Jakab) is clearly visible architectural complex "Three brothers". The architectural complex of the three brothers in Riga consists of three wonderful, adjacent and nearly identical houses. However, these houses are different colors, the architecture and the time of construction. Home "Three brothers" are a good sample of medieval Riga architecture, each of which was built in the century. Besides, it is not only the oldest building in those buildings to this day people live.

Three Brothers in the old town of Riga

Walking further out, to one of the most famous landmarks and a symbol not only of the old city, but the entire city of Riga - Riga castle.

Riga castle/Rigas pils is one of the most important elements and historical and architectural complex of the classical city of Riga. For several centuries, Riga castle was the residence of the secular power in the city. After the restoration of independence of the Republic of Latvia, the lock table the official residence and main workplace of the President of Latvia. Due to this, the Riga castle is also called the Presidential Palace.

Riga Castle, old town of Riga

The best and full views of the Riga castle, and part of the old city opens from the quay to the suspension bridge.

view of the Riga Castle from the embankment of the Daugava River

view of the Riga Castle from the Cable-stayed bridge

At the Riga castle, you will find a small eponymous square with outdoor Seating and a green area.

castle square, old Riga

On the same castle square, Pils street 5, is a graceful little Church of the Catholic parish our lady of sorrows (Virgin of Anguish Church). The appearance of the Church is a notable component of the site and environment of the Riga castle.

Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, Riga, Latvia

The interior of the Church, like her appearance, is quite restrained and is made in bright colors.

Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Riga

church of the Catholic Parish of Our Lady of Sorrows

Close to Notre Dame Church is another Church, the architecture is very different from the parish of our lady of sorrows. This neo-Gothic Church of English parish of the Holy Redeemer (St. Saviour's Anglican Church). The Church was built from 1855 to 1859 years. Its Central façade facing the waterfront of the river Daugava. How came we to this Church, it was always closed, to get inside and failed.

English Church of the Holy Redeemer in old Riga

Walking through the attractive and picturesque streets of the old town of Riga, next, went to the dome square, which is the third famous Cathedral of old Riga - dome Cathedral. Remember, in the beginning of article we mentioned the cathedrals of the old town, whose towers with spires create a unique silhouette of the city? Two (St. Peter and Jakab) we already told you, and this is the third of cathedrals, but not last in importance.

Riga dome Cathedral/Rigas Doms was founded in 1211 as the Cathedral of Bishop Albrecht. During its history the Cathedral has been repeatedly rebuilt and restored. Today, its architecture combines late Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque. It is the largest medieval Church in the Baltic States. In this Cathedral hosts concerts of organ music, and the ensemble is one of the oldest museums of Latvia - the Museum of history of Riga and navigation.

Dome Cathedral, old town, Riga

Dome square/Doma laukums, which is the eponymous Cathedral, is the largest area of old Riga. Annually, the area as a magnet for hundreds of tourists, so the area is always crowded, the cafes and restaurants under the open sky and honest people entertained by street musicians.

Domskaya Square, old Riga

at the Dome Square, old town, Riga

In addition to the Duomo around the area are concentrated many architectural and historical monuments. The main of which are the Home to the Latvian radio, the former home of the insurance company "Russia" of the Exchange building, which currently houses a Museum.

The house of the Latvian Radio and the former house of the insurance company Russia, Riga

Exchange building, museum, Riga, Latvia

From the dome square depart two parallel streets, each of which is very interesting in its own way.

First street is the most cinematic streets of Riga. It is famous because in Soviet times it was this Jauniela street. Small street, long only 225 meters, but the most picturesque and colorful street of the old town, leading from the square of the Riga Technical University to the dome square.

Jauniela street, old Riga

Jauniela, old town of Riga

Second, a recognizable street leading also to the dome square, is a street Rosen (Rozena iela). And it is famous for the fact that it is the narrowest street of the old town of Riga. According to one of its width is only 1 meter 10 centimeters, others - 1 meter 80 centimeters. How much the street width really we don't know personally, were not measured. They also say that the person standing in the middle of the street, hands can get to the walls of the opposite houses. As we try to do, we have so nothing came of it. Moreover, this street has several interesting legends, read more , read here.

Rosena is the narrowest street in the old town of Riga

Walking down the street Rosen and turning left, following the street to cram, go to the Park of outdoor Egle. Egle, Latvian Egle means Fir or Christmas Tree.

Park holiday Tree is located in the heart of Riga's old town and more like a common area than a Park in the conventional sense of the word. On the square are cafes and outdoor restaurants, fairs and performing street musicians.

Egle outdoor recreation park

Egle Park, Riga Old Town

A main feature of the square is a mirror installation of the Christmas tree installed in the center of the square. If you did not previously know that it was intended as a tree, you'll never guess, the whole design is more like some randomly hanging plate.

Christmas tree on Egle Square in Riga

Here, in the square set consisting of stone and metal sculptures of animals. Any sculpture can be bought, there are such half to five thousand euros. And who buys these things?

Egle, old town, Riga, Latvia

Our walk through the old town of Riga has come to an end. In this article, we have tried to show in the streets of the old city and main sites. Of course this is not all that it is possible to see and visit in the old town, walking the streets of the old city can be infinitely long, where every building and nook monument of architecture and art. So just walk and relax, go to cafes and restaurants, taste local cuisine, in one word enjoy.

Old Riga beauty and the places of the city do not end in the so-called "New Riga" also there, what to see and where to go. On our walk in the New Riga is available here.

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