This lovely park was created in the late 1800s on the site of Riga's old town walls and, in effect, divides the old town from the newer (but not new) Centra district. It is divided by Brivibas Bulvaris (although the canal continues underneath the road) where you will find the Freedom Monument.
The Pilsetas canal snakes through Bastejkalns...you can take boat rides, or hire one of the small boats....and there are mature trees, grassy banks, pleasant walks, benches, bridges and flowerbeds. And a couple of cafes too, of course.
It has its sadness too. in 1991 Russian Special forces attacked the Ministry of the Interior building, killing several reporters, two policemen and a schoolboy in the process. Their monuments lie on 'Bastion Hill' (not a bastion at all but an artificial mound created with the remains of the city walls when they were demolished).
I really enjoyed wandering through and past Pilsetas park on my way to and from the old town. It's a lovely place and felt very safe, in the daytime at least (I wasn't there after dark, for obvious reasons). It's an oasis of green calm in the heart of the city.
Coming over Bastion Hill you’re greeted by an outdoor dance floor filled with energetic couples. Welcome to Bastejkalns Park. A little further on you come to Lover’s bridge (second picture) where locks have be placed and keys tossed into the canal to pledge eternal love.
This place was the best thing with whole our trip, the park is so beautiful and peaceful. The Pilsetas kanal runns right through and there is a small bridge in the park (look at the pictures) on this bridge it´s tradition to hang a padlock there with the names of those in love. It means that the love of the people who hang their padlocks there will last for ever, and the couple throw the key in the kanal when they locked the padlock.
This is one of the most beautiful parks I´v seen. It´s definatly worth a trip just to go to the park.
This small bridge located in the Bastejkalns city park is a centerpiece of a tradition. Couples fallen in love take a lock, attach it to the bridge and throw the key into the channel. Some of the locks have engravings showing the names of the couple, some have some other small thing which makes them special.
Riga has a very green centre with many well tended parks. They are the perfect place for people watching and relaxing after or during sightseeing. If you want, you can even go paddleboating on the canal.
And for all you loved up couples out there, in Bastejkalns park, there is a bridge, where lovers attach a padlock on their engagement day or anniversary.
My favourite park is just behind the Freedom momument and stretches northeast of Vecriga, Oldriga that is to say. There is a canal running through it, and a little hill called Bastejkalns. I really like walking the park on a nice day, sit on a bench, smoke a fag and down a nice beer. But make sure the cops dont see ya, it's illegal to drink alcohol in the public nowadays. What a shame.