A city with a story for everyone
800 years of history
The first unforgettable impression that most visitors get of the Latvian capital is its majestic skyline, as viewed from the left bank of the Daugava River. The slender Gothic spires of the Old Town’s numerous churches attest to the city’s long history that dates back to the 13th century. The panorama’s pleasing harmony is just the most visible indication of the superb aesthetic sense that has shaped much of the city’s architecture up to the present day.
Nowhere is that aesthetic more pronounced than in Centrs, the central part of Riga, which is the city’s economic, financial, and cultural core, as well as a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. One will find a breathtaking range of architectural styles in the historic centre – from Baroque to Classicism, from Renaissance to Art Deco, from Romanesque to National Romanticism. Furthermore, Riga’s wealth of Jugendstil or Art Nouveau buildings, complete with their fantastically ornate flourishes, stands out as unparalleled anywhere in the world. Yet equally unique are the many 19th century wooden buildings that have proudly withstood the pressures of commercialization and gentrification, retaining their place in Riga’s architectural cornucopia and currently undergoing stateof- the-art facelifts.
But Riga is much more than just its history. Proud of its heritage, it is a thoroughly modern city with a highly developed infrastructure and opportunities for a variety of activities and entertainment. A city with rich musical traditions, today it boasts an excellent opera, several worldclass choirs and outstanding classical orchestras, not to forget jazz, rock, and blues ensembles, plus a variety of other popular music bands performing both in concert halls and clubs.