Riga cats

Riga cats – main image

In 2014, it was called the European Capital of Culture. Riga, because we are talking about it, is a city with a population of 700,000 and a large number of monuments. Most of them are located in the UNESCO-protected old part and we can easily get to know them in one day.

The capital of Latvia is a multicultural center, and - which is extremely important - Latvians do not constitute the majority of citizens. Tourists who know Russian will probably use it more than English.

A walk around Riga

The main square of Riga is the Cathedral Square with the temple, which we can admire today in the form given at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. During the renovation, among others, cockerel from the top of the tower and renovated interiors. You can see beautiful stained glass windows and listen to a 30-minute concert on an organ with 7,000 pipes. The entrance ticket to the Rīgas Doms (cathedral) costs 3 euros. From the top of the tower there is a wonderful view of the entire city.

The square hosts a number of concerts, fairs, festivals, etc. Apart from the cathedral, there are also monuments such as the Riga Bourse art gallery, the building of the Latvian Parliament and the Three Brothers , the oldest tenement houses in Riga. Next to them stands the Church of St. Jakub with a beautiful tower. Apparently her bell rings every time her unfaithful wife passes him by. It is not known how it is with unfaithful husbands.

On Rozena Street, you will find the Rozengrals restaurant , existing since 1923. In the medieval-styled interiors, you can order smoked venison with cranberries and processed cheese, or the culinary pride of the restaurant - a piglet roasted on a spit according to a medieval recipe.

Attractions of Liwski Square

The second most important square in Riga is Liwski Square . A number of historic buildings are concentrated around it, incl. Russian Drama Theater (the oldest Russian theater outside of Russia) and the Great Guild . Its neighbor is Mała Gildia, currently serving as a conference center and concert hall.

There is also one of the most famous buildings in Riga - the House of Cats (Cat House). Its name comes from the figurines of cats placed on turrets. They would just be cute ornaments were it not for the fact that they are sitting in the Grand Guild ruffers. Apparently, the owner of the house was a merchant who, in retaliation for refusing to join the guild, placed the cat figurines with his back to the building, thus showing what he thought about the brotherhood.

The Bremen musicians are also famous animals in Riga. The name means a sculpture depicting a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster standing on top of each other and staring in amazement through the gate. More specifically, through the Iron Curtain - the figure was erected in 1990, when Latvia was part of the USSR. Tourists love to take photos with it.

Kipsala - the second face of Riga

On the left bank of the Dvina, we find the island of Kipsala , whose historic wooden architecture is under UNESCO protection. In the past, it was inhabited by fishermen and sailors, and their houses are today a great tourist attraction. Some are from 120 to 200 years old, some have been slightly modernized, and the new ones are adapted to the style of the rest of the buildings.

One of the port workers living on the island was Żanis Lipke, responsible for transporting Jewish workers from the warehouses to the ghetto and back. Thanks to the forgery of lists (lowering the number of people returning from work), he saved many people from death - according to various sources, 1/4 of all Jews who survived in Latvia during World War II owed their lives to him. For heroism, Żanis was awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations as the first man in Latvia. In the museum on the island you can see letters from people saved by Lipke.

The listed attractions are only a fraction of the interesting places in Riga. You can come to her for a very intense weekend or a quiet week. It will be a great time.

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A writer by profession, a passion of a cat. One day he will see what is behind the Urals - good to Vladivostok. So far, when he can, he enjoys the sun of the countries of southern Europe. And it's also fun;)

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