Riga City Tour for curious
Welcome to Jerulita Travel. I am Daniel, would like to present you a Riga city tour. I have been to Riga many times and I love this city. Many people agree, that it is one of the best places to travel in Europe. To wander around the old city with its medieval atmosphere, old and new buildings, churches, bars, pubs, and nightclubs.
Riga Old city is not very big but has a character. It has three bigger squares –Reformation square with St. Peter church, Town Hall square and a beautiful complex of Blackheads building, and the Dome Square. And Livu Square with a theatre and building of the medieval guilds.
Riga City tour can last 2 hours if you are in a hurry. But if you came to explore, only part of the Riga Old town will take longer than that. The Dome Cathedral is gorgeous, huge, Red brick, the church in the very heart of Riga. It overlooks the big Cathedral Square with lots of coffee shops, restaurants and a beautiful building of Riga Art Museum.
There are quite a few luxury hotels in Riga City Centre. In two minutes walk from the Riga dome there is the Grand Palace Hotel. It is one of the first premium class hotels opened in Riga. Last year it was nicely refurbished. Definitely, worth a weekend stay.
The Great and Small Guilds
The Great and Small Guilds are mentioned in almost every travel post about Riga. These two neo-gothic buildings remind us about the glorious past of Riga as a port city. These were two major economic and commercial institutions, financially protecting the higher society. Today they house a philharmonic and a museum.
When you google Riga sightseeing, every post will offer you to see Cats house. It is a very impressive big dwelling house in art nouveau architectural style. There is a thrilling legend about a man who built it to spite the Great Guild. Rich members of the Guild did not let him becoming its member.
After two or three turns left and right you will easily find the “Three Brothers”. it is a complex of three houses built in 1576, 1676 and the last one in 1776. Locals call them three brothers. They tell us about the development of architectural styles and culture. Inside there is a Latvian Museum of Architecture. It shows the medieval life of Riga city. Oldest Brother had one big room where the work, trade and everyday life took place, and it has retained its original appearance. Middle brother was the richest and had much more that one room. It was built with strong Dutch mannerism influence. The young one was the smallest, or to be precise, the narrowest. And it had one little apartment on each floor.
About the House of the Blackheads: House of the Blackheads
The House of the Blackheads is rightly considered to be the most beautiful building of Riga. Its baroque facade with numerous sculptures is quite a decoration of the Town Hall Square. Many think, that you should start the Riga City Tour from this place. Indeed, it is convenient if you got for a self-exploring version. In the annex of the House of the Blackheads, you can find Riga Tourism informational Center.
The house on the Town Hall Square was built in 1334. This brotherhood had three patrons, namely, St. George, St. Gertrude and the main patron – St. Mauritius. The black head of St. Mauritius was depicted on the brotherhood’s coat of arms, and its members were called the Blackheads. The House of the Blackheads was the place for trade transactions by day and merry parties at night.
St. Peter church
St. Peter’s Church is one of the oldest and most valuable monuments of Gothic architecture in the Baltic states. This Lutheran church, part of the Old Town’s historic center, is listed as a World Heritage Site. Nazi Germans bombed the church during World War II, and the Soviets completed the destruction after the war. It wasn’t rebuilt until 1983. The church hall houses exhibits and concerts, and the observation deck at the top of the tower offers a view of the entire city.
The outstanding collection of Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) architecture in the streets of Riga.
Riga happened to become a lucky place. In the old days, it was a major port in the area. It was conquered and developed by the German nights. Later it became a center of progress caused by protestants. In the 19th century, it became one of the top five cities in the Russian Empire. It all was crowned by a wave of investments of foreigners. So, today Riga has an outstanding collection of Art Nouveau Architecture. We will visit Alberta street, where you will be amazed by a collection of houses designed by local architects.
Riga Central Market
We highly recommend to Visit the huge Riga Central Market. It is located just on the border of the old city. There are five huge hangars and also a lot of outdoor kiosks. It is predominantly a food marked, but you can find a lot of other things there. Clothing, houseware, souvenirs, electronics, and many other things. It is nice and colorful and gives you an idea of how local people shop.
Jewish Heritage tour of Riga
Jewish Heritage tour of Riga attracts a lot of visitors as well. It includes the Jewish quarter in the Moscow area. In german – Maskvas Forschtadt. The memorial for the burnt Great Synagogue of Riga, Jewish school founded in 19 c. by Rav dr. Max Lilienthal, the Synagogue, the museum “Jews in Latvia”, Jewish community center, Symon Dubnov in Riga. Visit Rumbula Memorial, where Nazis murdered thousands of Jews.