Clasical tour of Old Riga
Classical route across Old Riga
The oldest part of Riga – Old Town (Old Riga) – is considered to be the historical and geographical centre of Riga that located on the right bank of river Daugava. It is quite little territory of defensive system of 13 – 18 centuries. Although Old Riga came through a lot of changes, this walk will give you possibility to feel old times in fragments of base walls and centuries old buildings of warehouse, in cathedrals and churches, and streets as well, which were able to save its' style of middle ages.
1. House of Blackheads, (Rātslaukums 7)
The building was rent by association of Blackheads from 15th century, which patron was St. Mavriky. The title of “House of Blackheads” was brought in only in 1687th, but it's members became full-fledged owners of this building in 1713th. Only unmarried merchants could enter into association. The building was broken in 1941st, but it was renewed in 1999th.
2. Lutheran church of St. Peter (Skārņu iela 19)
The church is considered to be the biggest church in Latvia and the first time it was mentioned in sources in 1209th. The building was rebuilt and expanded several times, but during World War II the church was destroyed. From 1967th till 1977st the church has been renewed and the exhibition hall and watching place for tourists was made. There are divine services happening from 1991st.
3. St. George church (Skārņu iela 10/16)
The church is considered to be the oldest buildings in Riga, it was built in approximetly 1207th as castle of Master of Orden of Sword Beares, which during battles against Orden was partly destroyed by inhabitants of Riga in 1297th. During Reformation times the building was transformed into storehouse. The building was used for warehouse till the end of 20th century, when the Museum of applied and decorative art was located in it. Visitors can see also fragments of old walls during visiting the museum.
4. Lutheran church of St. John (Skārņu iela 24)
In 1234 dominicans established the church and monastery that were named by St. John. Visitors can see the head of Dominican monarch in the church's wall from the side of Skarņu street. It is a proof that this monastery is the oldest chuch of dominican monastery.
5. John's gateway (area between steets Skārņu and Kalēju)
This is the place where the living place of bishop's Albert located. The fragment of defensive wall of the city gives an impression about characteristics of fortifications of Riga during middle ages, but above the entrance from the side of street Kalēju visitors can see the old Emblem of Riga.
6. Convention yard of St. Spirit (Kalēju iela 9/11)
On this place located the castle of Orden of Sword Beards firstly, which was destroyed in 1297th. The new castle became renewed on the levee of Daugava instead of St. Spirit's hospital. Hospital was transfered to the wrecks of castle of Orden. Later this place was named “Convention yard of St. Spirit”. Convent was established in 1220th to support infirms.
7. The little guild (Amatu iela 6)
Craftsmen of Riga, as well as in other countries of Europe, united into associations of crafts to protects their rights. In the middle of 14th century these associations unidet into Little Guild or Guild of St. John. The building was built during 1864 – 1866 in the style of English Neogothic. The building has rich interior, which was renewed in 2000th.
8. The big guild (Amatu iela 5)
The big guild was founded in 1354th by merchants of Riga. It's patroness was St. Maria. There is the oldest hall for meetings in Riga has saved – the Munich room of 14th century. The bride's room which was built in 15th century also considered to be historical. The building was overlapped by decorative arch, which was decorated by stars. Now the hall of Philarmony is located in it.
9. "Cat's house" (Meistaru iela 10)
The building was founded in 1909th. It was named “Cat's house” because towers that are located on the corners of building are decorated with forged brass cats' figures. In such way, with the help of cats' figures the owner of building, who was not accepted in guild of craftmen, demonstated his excellency over owners of Big Guild.
10. The powder tower (Smilšu iela 20)
One of the serf towers of Riga, firstly named Sand tower, is dated by 1330th year. It was rebuilt several times and modern name it got in 17th century, when the powder began storaged in tower. The Latvian war museum is located here from 1919th.
11. The Bastion hill
The hill was throwed up in place of old Sand bastion during the destruction works of strengthening billows of Riga. In 1898th on the slope of Bastion hill the stone obstructions and cascade waterfall were constructed.
12. Caserns of Jacob (Torņa iela 4)
The longest building of Old Riga. The building is unique, because it is considered to be the last of caserns of 17th and 19th centuries around Old Riga. The caserns were reconstructed in 1997th and there are shops, offices and cafes located in it now.
13. Swedish gates (Torņa iela 11)
The only gates that are surviving from strengthening wall of town. In 1698th in the wall of living house gates were hacked through for better service between parts of town. Form the 20ties of 20th century the union of architects of Latvia is located in building.
14. Builging of Seym (The house of conquerors) (Jēkaba iela 11)
The building to which forms of Florentic Renaissance are characterized, was founded in 1863 - 1867th as house of conquerors of german noblemen. It's authors are – the first professional latvian architect J. F. Baumanis (1834 – 1901) and R. Phlugs. After recovery of Independance of Latvia there is Seym working in this building.
15. Kathedral church of St. Jacob (Klostera iela 2)
The first mention of kathedral church is dated by 1225th, in that time it was outside of territory of riga's streightenings. Here, in time of reformation, firstly in Riga the divine services were aviable for latvian lutheran community. Today the church of St. Jacob is considered to be the Kathedral church of archibishop of catholic church.
16. The comlex of living buildings “Three brothers” (Mazā Pils iela 17, 19, 21)
The living complex of the end of 15th and beginning of 16th century. The building is located on Maza Pils street, 17 and considered to be the oldest stone building in Riga, where even old flue is preserved. In the inner yard the immured into the wall old emblem of Riga and stone portals are located. The museum of Latvian architecture is located in the building on Maza Pils street 17.
17. The Riga's castle (Pils laukums 3)
The castle was founded in 1330th as residence of magistr of Livonian orden. The castle was destroyed several times and rebuilt again. From the times of Orden the bas-reliefs of St. Maria and V. fon Pletenberg are preserved.
From the 1995th in this building the residence of President of Latvia is again located. There are museum of history of Latvia, the museum of foreign art, the museum of literature and the museum of art by Rainis in apartments of castle.
18. The Dome church (Doma laukums)
The cathedral is built on the place, where 800 years ago the settlings of livs were located. The Riga's Dome cathedral is considered to be one of the biggest cathedrals in Baltics. The building of Riga's Dome cathedral began in 1211th. The cathedral was rebuilt several times and it contains practically all layers of historical styles. The gallery of religious procession of Dome's cathedral is considered to be a prominent example of building of middle ages in Baltics. The Dome cathedral's organ with 6700 pipes and 124 registers (1883 – 1884) in it's times considered to be the biggest in the world.
There is Dome's coming, the Riga's museum of history and navigation and music hall located in Dome's cathedral now.
19. Riga's museum of history and navigation (Palasta iela 4)
The museum was founded in 1773th and considered to be the oldest one not only in Latvia, but also in all Baltic states.
The exposition reflects the history of Riga from it's beginning and till 1940th, and the history of Latvian navigation from 10th century till nowadays as well.
20. City hall (Rātslaukums 1)
The city hall was founded again in 2003rd on the place of old city hall that was destroyed in 1954th. The front part of building the emblem of Riga and Femida's figure is decorating. Every hour citizens of Riga and visitors can hear the tolling of bells of city hall.
Map with route: