Architecture

Architecture is the most accurate witness to the multifaceted face of Riga. Eclectic and amazing in its diversity, where every era and its current has left its mark. From Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism to mannered Art Nouveau, modernism and wooden architecture.

House of the Black Heads

The House of the Black Heads is located in the very heart of Old Riga. Wonderful, surprising, royal – the house deserves to be complimented and is a must-see for each and every visitor to the city.

Alberta Street

Alberta Street is regarded as Riga’s Art Nouveau gem, since it is full of splendid historical Art Nouveau-style buildings from one end to the other. The area was erected in a short period of time – from 1901 to 1908, each of the buildings standing alone as an inimitable 20th century architectural achievement. Eight buildings are now recognised as architectural monuments of national significance.

Ornamental abundance on Strēlnieku Street

One of the most extravagant examples of Art Nouveau in Riga can be found in the ‘Quiet Centre’, 4a Strēlnieku Street, in a building designed by Mikhail Eisenstein.

Art Nouveau at 10b Elizabetes Street

Art Nouveau plays an important role in the historic architecture of Riga; it is mostly concentrated in a neighborhood referred to as the ‘Quiet Centre’, which is a 10-minute walk from the Old Town. It is a gorgeous feature among the historic facades of the city.

Riga Dome Cathedral

The foundation stone of Riga Dome Cathedral was laid on July 25, 1211. The last large-scale restoration took place in the late 19th century when the cathedral acquired its present appearance. Today, Riga Dome Cathedral holds services and provide for rich cultural life — various concerts of popular artists take place here.

Riga Castle

Riga Castle has stood on the right bank of the River Daugava for more than 700 years. Through the centuries, it has seen severe destruction, numerous rulers, and wars. Today it houses the residence of the President of Latvia.

Riga Russian Theatre

The Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theatre opened in 1883, the oldest Russian theatre outside Russia. Its repertory features Russian and world classics, as well as new plays. The large and small stages present works of all genres, also musical and children's productions, also guest performances and participation in various festivals. In summer 2010, renovation of the building was completed; now the refurbished, historically splendid premises are fully open to spectators.

National Library of Latvia

Just a bridge span from Old Town, on the left bank of the Daugava, looms an extraordinary, culturally significant edifice, the Castle of Light - the new National Library.

Splendid Palace

Cinema "Splendid Palace" features auteur, art house films, festival favourites from Europe and other world regions.

Latvian National Opera and Ballet

Riga's White House — the Latvian National Opera and Ballet on Aspazijas bulvāris was opened in 1923; an average of six new productions are presented each year, retaining balance between opera and ballet. In total, the opera sees over 200 performances and several symphonic and chamber music concerts a season.

Three Brothers

The oldest complex of dwelling houses in Riga was constructed in the 15th century. Their name — Three Brothers, was given a very long time ago and, according to a legend, the buildings were constructed by men from one family. Today, the premises house the Latvian Museum of Architecture and the State Inspection for Heritage Protection.

National Theatre

The primary accent in the Latvian National Theatre is on new plays.

Kalnciema Quarter

A unique 19th century's complex of wooden buildings is now renovated in Pārdaugava. A group of friends and associates are actively involved in a project of preserving the historic atmosphere of the quarter and adapting it to the dynamics of the 21st century. Buildings invite you to enjoy Latvian and European design, fairs, art exhibitions and workshops at court-yards. The quarter's special feature is old LADA cars to take you into the past.

Cat House

Wrought-copper cats stand on the corner turrets of a building facing the Great Guild on Līvu Square, their backs arched and tails poised as if readying for the final leap. The famous and peculiar building, once scandalous and even been the cause of a lawsuit, was named the Cat House because of these figures. Today, the cats are not only squatting on the roof of the building, but they dwell on the ground floor too.

Konventhof

One of the oldest city quarters in the Old Town of Riga, the heart of the 800-year-old Hanseatic city, is often described as a city within a city. It is a unique complex of medieval buildings that currently houses the three-star hotel "Rixwell Hotel Konventa Sēta".

Swedish Gate

The so-called Swedish Gate is only gate that remains standing today of eight total in Riga's fortification wall.

Small Guild

The Old Town's Small Guild is used for concerts, conferences, presentations, meetings, celebratory gatherings and balls.

Jacob's Barracks

The collection of red-roofed buildings along Torņa Street on one side of Old Town Riga is known as Jacob’s Barracks and is home to a number of bars and restaurants, beauty salons, and travel agencies.

Great Guild

The origin of the Great Guild - one of the oldest public buildings in the Baltics - go back to the first half of the 14th century. It has always been open to cultural and social events.

The Powder Tower

One of medieval Riga's fortification wall towers, originally called the Sand Tower. Built in 1330.

VEF Culture Palace

VEF Culture Palace is among the most interesting venues in uptown Riga. The building was constructed in 1960 and since then it has served as a venue for various cultural events - international meetings, congresses and art exhibitions, as well as performances of well-known foreign artists and local theatre companies. Various events are presented here also today.

Art Academy of Latvia

The building of the Art Academy of Latvia is one of the most notable architectural and cultural monuments located in the historic centre of Riga.

Riga Latvian Society House

The Riga Latvian Society House is a five-story building (six stories in the courtyard wing) designed in the Neoclassical style - the very first of its kind in Riga.

Latvian Academy of Sciences observation deck

Latvian Academy of Sciences observation deck offers Riga guests and local residents to have a breath-taking view of Riga's Old Town and the Daugava River from the building's 17th-floor balcony at the height of 65 metres.

Culture centre "Ziemeļblāzma"

In a half an hour driving distance from the centre of Riga, in the northern part of the city — Vecmīlgrāvis — there is an architectural monument of national scale — culture palace “Ziemeļblāzma” surrounded by a 5 ha large park.

Mangaļsala jetty

Mangaļsala is the first part of the city that all ships pass when entering the Daugava. Stretching into the sea from Mangaļsala is a breakwater called the Eastern jetty, built in 1850-1861 under the personal supervision of the Czar himself.