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This exclusive walking tour is a wonderful and captivating way to get to know Riga. Prepare to be taken on a journey through a nearly 800-year old medieval town full of mesmerizing stories and legends!
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.
Old Riga narrow streets and charming open squares linking them together are best discovered on foot. During your exploration, visit the Dome Church, Town Hall, striking House of the Blackheads, The Three Brothers, and Statue of Roland. On your way, there is also the National Opera building nestled in a green park and the Freedom Monument right in the middle of it all.
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