Old Riga Tour and Art Nouveau district

 

Riga was founded in 1201 by Bishop Albert, who landed in Riga with 23 ships and 500 Westphalian crusaders. In 1282 Riga became a member of the Hanseatic League. What happened in the following centuries? You will find out if you take a tour with Latvian Tour Guides.

Where does the name `Riga` comes from? Why did people coming from countryside had to take 2 stones in order to get into the city? Why citizens could not sleep during the nights? Why ladies were afraid of walking near St. Jacob`s church? Why one can see cats on the top of Black Cats House? To whom the House of Blackheads was built? Why the Freedom Monument wasn`t destroyed during Soviet times?

During the tour you will find answers not only to these questions but to many more. Latvian Tour Guides are always happy to answer to any kind of questions about the past or nowadays! We are always well informed about the festivities happening in town and can give advice about the best restaurants and most interesting museums.

Highlights:

Town Hall Square – a centre of public life of the city in the Middle Ages

A baroque wooden steeple of St. Peter`s Lutheran Church was installed in 1690. It was the highest in the world at the time

In 1582 St. John`s Lutheran Church became the first Latvian church in Riga

The Dome Cathedral is one of the main symbols of Riga. It was built in 13th century as a new residence of Bishop Albert, the founder of Riga

The Small Guild is an example of the British Neo-Gothic style

The Big Guild  was built in 1354 and today is the home of the Latvian Philharmonic Orchestra

The Gunpowder Tower was a part of city’s former fortification. It dates back to 1330

The Monument of Freedom is the symbol of freedom and independence of the country. It was built in 1935 on a benefaction collected by people of Latvia

Convent Yard was named after the Holy Spirit Convent, which was located here after the first castle of the Christian Knights` Order was destroyed

Come with Latvian Tour Guides and see the Old Town of Riga through a completely different point of view. In 2 hours you will hear many stories and interesting facts about our beautiful Riga.

 

Over a third of all buildings in Riga have been constructed in the style of  Art nouveau. The reason for this is quite simple. When Art nouveau was at the height of its popularity, capital of Latvia just happened to be at the zenith of an unprecedented financial boom. Riga was home to entrepreneurs and engineers, educated in St. Petersburg, Moscow and the European metropolises, who succeeded at attracting German, Russian and Jewish capital; also, hope- and ambition-filled artists had returned here from their studies.

This enabled the application of the vast imagination of such architects as Eizens Laube, Konstantins Peksens, Wilhelm Bockslaff and the building engineer Mikhail Eisenstein (father of the legendary Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein): the facades of the buildings are overflowing with decorative elements; above the cornices one finds obelisks, sphinxes, lions, vases, flowers and everything else that characterises abundance and celebration of life.

Art nouveau in Latvia is closely connected to national romanticism (Latvian architects included elements of ethnic mythology and folklore into their designs), which is why some buildings feature not just the plush so typical in Europe while also referring to the spiritual values of Latvia.

Highlights:

Alberts street – the heart of Riga’s Art Nouveau architectural wonderland

Elizabete street – famous for particularly exquisite and extravagant Art Nouveau buildings

Vilande street, Strelnieki street, Antonija street, Rupnieciba street.

During this tour you will get learn about the two principal directions of Art Nouveau style in Riga – decorative Art Nouveau and romantic-nationalistic Art Nouveau.

Price from  EUR 30 per person

Included: Tour guide

Duration:  3 hours

 You will be pick up and dropped off from the Cruise Ship Port

 

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