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Explore the wonderful city of Riga and learn about Jewish history and sights on this private exclusive tour.
This spectacular river embankment is a great place to enjoy an afternoon walk. The Western bank of the river has contemporary buildings, including the elegant wave of the National Library. The Eastern bank has the Old town buildings, including the Town Hall square with the House of the Blackheads. The significant landmark of the embankment is the statue of St. Christopher, hidden in the glass box, which is a famous lucky charm of the town.
House of the Blackheads is an impressive colorful structure on the Town Hall square. It belonged to the society of merchants and ship owners, formed in the 15th century in the Baltics. The current exterior of the building dates back to the middle of the 17th century.
The Latvian National Opera building is home to the National Opera company, which also includes the National Ballet, Chorus, and Orchestra. Formerly the German theater, the building is the 1883 post-fire reconstruction of the 1863 structure. The locating for the opera was determined during the grand new city planning in 1860th when Riga changed its status from the fort at the Russian border to the local, regional center. The old fort's walls were turned down, giving way to the wide streets and beautiful buildings.
Old Town of Riga is famous for its cathedrals, old buildings, churches. Take a walk through the labyrinth of the narrow brick streets, enjoying the colorful buildings, little shops, and delicious restaurants. See the famous Dome square and cathedral, Castle with the Castle square, Town Hall, house of the Blackheads, and others.
The Cat House is the most distinct building of the Old Riga with the two statues of the angry-looking cats on the top of the building's towers. There are lots of legends about the origin of these symbols, and historians still debate about the true one. And the cats are watching the city from the tower tops.
The current castle dates back to 1515. It was the Livonian order residence, currently occupied by the president of Latvia. The castle is an impressive structure with the white walls, massive towers, and a red roof. After the 2013 fire, the castle is closed for renovation till the end of 2018.
The cathedral is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Latvia and is featured in or the subject of paintings, photographs, and television travelogues. Like all of the ancient churches of the city, it is known for its weathercock on the top. It was built in 1211 on the high Daugava bank. The cathedral has the 2nd largest organ in Latvia. You can visit the regular organ concerts in the cathedral.
A Roland statue is a statue of a knight with a drawn sword, signifying the town privileges of a medieval city, often associated with the Hanseatic Trade League. It's placed it the heart of the old town. Roland was respected as a patron of the trade; people came to his statue, seeking health, fortune, wealth.
The Three Brothers introduce us to the traditional architecture of the medieval Riga. These are the oldest residential complex in the city. The White brother with the gothic steps on the roof is the oldest one with the unique stone benches at the door. The Middle brother is also middle of age. It features the Dutch architectural Mannerism with elegant window tops and an unusual roof. The Green brother is the youngest. It features the strict but charming early baroque with the traditional Gable. The name was inspired by the "3 sisters" in Tallinn, which are the similar old buildings, standing next to each other.
The subtle but elegant northern art nouveau can be seen on many streets or Riga, with most buildings created by Konstantīns Pēkšēns, local architect. The quarter between Albert, Strēlnieku, Antonijas, and Dzirnavu streets is famous for the most elegant art nouveau structures, where every next building is more impressive. The art nouveau museum is located right there, in the former apartment of Konstantīns Pēkšēns. It can be recognized from far away by the tall tower above the front of the house. The museum features the stunning room interiors, and its spiral staircase is one of the most impressive in all Europe.
The Riga Ghetto and Holocaust museum is a courtyard between Maskavas and Krasta streets. Its main feature is an ominously long wall covered with the names of victims of the Holocaust in Latvia. You can also look at Nazi propaganda, horrifying photos of tortured bodies, stills of ghetto life, and grainy black and whites of old synagogues across the country, most of which no longer exist. There is also a little wooden house, like many other houses in Ghetto. Inside are the cubes that tell the stories of people who were murdered in WW2 times.
Driving along the scenic Daugava riverbank, admire the medieval heart of Riga, the Old Town. Take a picturesque stroll through the magnificent squares and medieval streets of this Hanseatic merchants town. On your way, you will also see the Town Hall and the House of Blackheads.
Next on the route is the Synagogue - a unique building with a fascinating history to discover right in the town's middle.
Leaving the city center behind, you will now head to discover a period in time where the most beautiful houses in Riga were built in the art nouveau style. The Art Nouveau Museum exhibits the best of it in a charming and inviting way.
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