Pearl Of The Baltic Riga
SEEN FROM A DISTANCE, RIGA IS A CLASSIC EUROPEAN CITY CRISSCROSSED WITH CANALS AND BRIDGES.
Coming in from the airport you encounter magnificent architecture and understand why Riga is called the fairy tale city.
SIREN OF THE NORTH
One of northern Europe’s major countries, Latvia is close to half covered by forest. Thousands of lakes and streams large and small make the country a paradise on earth. The wide Daugava River that bisects the capital Riga and empties into the Baltic allows big ships to dock in the heart of the city. Giant ferries from the neighboring Baltic states, mainly Finland, bring tourists here every day. Originally founded in 1201, Riga appeals instantly for its fine architecture.
WEDDING CAKE ARCHITECTURE
Riga is one of Europe’s leading centers of the Art Nouveau style of architecture. Jugendstil buildings reflecting strict German discipline rise in almost all the streets and avenues at the city center. Protected under the auspices of Unesco as a world cultural heritage, Riga’s architecture has a fairy tale quality about it, while at the same time revealing much about the history of European culture. The earliest buildings erected in Riga by the Teutonic knights who came here from northern Germany exhibit traces of the Gothic and Romanesque styles, the best examples of which can be found in Alberta and Strelnieku Streets.
CITY OF MUSEUMS
Riga is also a city of intensive cultural and artistic activity. Despite its diminutive size, its many museums make it northern Europe’s capital of culture. Among the museums you can visit in the city are the Sun Museum, the Museum of Pharmacy, the Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga Art Nouveau Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Latvian War Museum.
The flavors of the Russian and Eastern European cuisines loom large in Riga, which lies in the heart of north central Europe. Besides restaurants serving traditional Latvian fare, you can also try an array of Japanese, Indian and Italian eateries. And the market, open every day of the week, is particularly appetizing with its supply of fresh fruits from the neighboring villages. Those who wish can also find fast food chains in the city center.
Amber is the Baltic’s gift to Riga. This valuable natural substance is processed at various points around the city, which boasts numerous shops selling jewelry and ornaments made of it. Available in tones from light yellow to red, brown and even black, amber is one of the symbols of Riga. Beyond what you can buy in its shops, another of Riga’s gifts to visitors is, without a doubt, its rich cultural heritage and streets lined with fairy tales houses, all waiting to be discovered.
1.Water sports are quite popular in Riga.
2.The buildings draw attention for their original architecture.
3.A bridge where lovers attach padlocks.
4.The streets of Riga, calm and peaceful.
5.Historic Riga flour mill.
Financed by donations from the people, the monument was erected in 1935.
The construction took four years and 308,000 working hours, and 2,500 tons of material were used.
The three stars the statue holds aloft symbolize Latvia’s three regions.
The Latvians call the statue of a maiden at the top of the 43-meter- high monument ‘Milda’.
Following a contentious wreath-laying ceremony in 1987, the monument has come to commemorate Latvian independence.
The monument was restored between 1998 and 2001.
1.Works by local artists lend color to Riga’s parks.
2.Riga city center promises much in terms of history and culture.