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Riga and its main sightseeing

With the importance of the artistic, architectural, local, traditional resources of Riga, it is very difficult for us to provide an exhaustive list of all sights. However, here are the main tourist attractions in Riga...

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The Freedom Monument

The Guilds

The House of Blackheads

The Cat House

The Three Brothers

Ramparts, Swedish Gate and Powder Tower

The Riga Castle

The Academy of Sciences

The Laima Clock

 

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The Freedom Monument, affectionately called Milda by locals dates from 1935. It's a national shrine for Latvians in memory of people who were deported to Siberia in Soviet times. Milda is the symbol of the freedom of Latvian people and the three stars in the maiden's hands represent the three historical regions of the country : Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale. more photos

 

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Great and Small Guild Halls : Both buildings dating back to the 14th century ; it was the home of the merchants and the city's artisans. Today the Great Guild hosts the Philharmonic Orchestra (the Small Guild is now a youth disco).

 

 

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The House of Blackheads dating from 1344, was used to house traveling, single members of the merchants guild. more photos

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 cat house

 Photo courtesy of:    Jeff Bastian, 1999

The Cat House : the story goes that 100 years ago, the Latvian owner of the building was "not welcomed" into the the powerful Great Guild across the road. To be insulting to his enemies, he ordered the cats to be turned around, ... backside up... A lengthy court battle ensued, "the cats" were eventually turned around and he was admitted to the Guild.

 

 

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The "Three Brothers" is a collection of medieval buildings which depict different stages in the architectural development of Riga (medieval to Baroque).

 

 

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The Old City Walls and the Swedish Gate : This is the oldest remaining portion of the Old Town "fort type" walls. The Swedish Gate dates back to 1698 to celebrate the Scandinavians' occupation while the walls were built between the 13th and 16th centuries. Including to these Old town fortifications, The Powder Tower, below  is also famous.

 

 

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 The Riga Castle was built in 1330, itís currently the residence of the president of Latvia.

 

 

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The Academy of Sciences : Building built by the Soviets, the local nicknames for this "Empire State Building" copy include "Stalin's birthday cake" or "the Kremlin".

 

 

 Laima Clock : The famous meeting point in Riga !

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Design concept and content by: Anne-Claire DUFOUR,  France

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