Daugava River, Riga
This is something I did fancy doing but unfortunately it didn't fit into my plans, or lack thereof, during my short visit.
The river cruises, during the day, offer a one-hour trip along the city's waterfront, taking in the panoramas of both Old and new Riga. During the season the river boats also offer a two-and-a-half hour sunset trip out to the sea gate and back.
The larger boats have restaurants and bars, whilst even the smaller ones offer a bar.
The canal boats look interesting too. These are small purpose-built craft, the oldest is about 100 years old, and offer a one-hour cruise looping around the Old City on the canal and the river.
Website below has details of its recommended services, along with the relevant links onwards.
Normally a wide expanse of blue, the Daugava River had been frozen so long by the time I arrived the first time, it was knee deep snow. This gave it a magical look, with a smooth surface you won't normally see. Many people were out on the snow, with sleds, snowmobiles, and just on foot. Some had even written messages in the snow, all watched over by the glass boxed statue of St. Christopher, the patron saint of travellers watching over the ferries as they come and go.
The Daugava is a major European river, starting its journey in Russia, passing through Belarus and Latvia before exiting into the Baltic Sea. It's one of the many freshwater sources that feeds the Baltic Sea and makes it the least salty sea on the planet.
There's a long 'promenade' along the Daugava river, to the west of Riga's old town. It certainly runs from where the canal near the Central Market joins the river up to Vansu Bridge, and I'm pretty sure it goes further north as well. I just didn't walk that far!
I really enjoyed my evening stroll, watching families out for their evening strolls and bike rides, looking at the bridges (I noticed the remains of a previous bridge next to the existing railway bridge), the boats and the birds.
The huge, dramatic and very 'Soviet' 'Revolution Monument' on the riverside between the railway bridge and Akmens Tilts (Stone Bridge) commemorates the Russian Revolution of 1905. I believe it is one of the few pieces of Soviet-era sculpture which remain in Riga. It's worth seeing for itself, even if you don't walk very far along the riverside.
Take a trip on a boat. The tour starts in the park Bastelkalnis. One boat costs 12 Lat en the other 10. They differ in luxury. The tour takes 50 minutes and you go along the bus station and market out of town on the Daugava river.
I took a shot at this Railway Bridge on Daugava River. The shape of the bridge look like several mini Sydney harbor bridge joint together. The iron bridge was damaged in both World War and was rebuilt both times.
The Stone Bridge (Akmens tilts) is a low, road and pedestrian bridge that offers great views of the old town, and takes you to the AB Dam on the opposite bank, which has even better views. Despite its name, the Stone Bridge is not very old, dating back only to 1955. The original name of October Bridge is more fitting, but maybe not politically correct.
It's easy to reach by foot, but you have to first negotiate quite a few underpasses and stairs.
Offering some of the best views of the Old Town, Riga's AB Dam sits on the west bank of the Daugava river. The dam was originally built in the 1880s to protect Riga from flooding. There were plans to destroy it, but it was saved in the 1960s and rebuilt. Today it's a little bit scruffy, and in need of some regenerative love, but it's also quiet and shy of people, unlike the old town.
The Railway Bridge connects the two banks of Riga that are divided by the Daugava River.
I happened to see this Bridge when I was having a look at the central markets.
The Bridge was built in 1872, and was used by pedestrians and horses, in addition to trains. During WWI the bridge was destroyed, then in the 1930s it was reconstructed and could also be used by automobiles. During WWII it was destroyed again and only became usable in 1951.
The Shroud Bridge, built in 1981 during the Communist regime, is one of 5 Bridges that cross the River Daugava River and connects the two sides of the city. It is 595 meters long and looks quite attractive at night time.
It is worth to see, just walk near the Daugava river bank and watch how big that river is, how nice bridges around, modern buildings.
Especially I liked architecture of bridges - Vansu bridge, Akmens bridge… and it is so much time to go though bridge from one side of river to another, but worth just to see panorama - castle, church spires.
Possibly the most impressive of Riga's bridges, and certainly one with the best views, it was originally built in 1981, during Soviet times, and named Gorky Bridge, after Maxim Gorky the Soviet author. It's a cable stayed bridge and over half a kilometer long, and if you walk to the middle and look back, you'll get some great photos.
The whole river was totally frozen when I visited; people had even built snowmen on it. Judging by the many footprint paths in the snow, you didn't need the bridge to cross on foot, although I didn't want to risk it. About half way across the cold, frozen air coursing down the Daugava river made my head spin. Even at -5 in the city, it was noticeably colder on the bridge.
The Daugava river floats just south-west of the Old Town of Riga. The river is 1020 km long and the origin of the river is in the Valdaj Mountains in Russia. The Daugava is roughly 700 meters wide in the area near Riga. The Daugava river in Riga has three road bridges (among them are Vansu bridge and Akmens bridge), and one railway bridge (see picture). The river Daugava was used by the Viking when they started their journey to Constantinople. The first bridge in Riga across the Daugava was built as early as 1701.
The river that floats through Riga is called Daugava. The origin of Daugava is in the Valdaj Mountains (in Russia) and the mouth is in the Golf of Riga. The river is 1020 km long. In Latvia there are three hydroelectric dams in Daugava.
Daugava was used by the Viking when they started their journey to Constantinople, and during the medieval times it was used by the Hanseatic league, making Riga an important trading city.
The first bridge in Riga, across the Daugava, was built in 1701.
Dienvidu Tilts (South Bridge) is the most expensive project in Riga for years. It connect Ķengarags neighbourhood with Pārdaugava, more particularly to Ziepniekkalns.
The cost of the Bridge was more than a half billion euro and the bridge itself is less than 500 meters long.
The Daugava or Western Dvina is a river rising in the Valdai Hills, Russia, flowing through Russia, Belarus, and Latvia, draining into the Gulf of Riga in Latvia, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The total length of the river is 1,020 km (634 mi).
It is connected by a canal with Berezina and Dnieper rivers.
Though it's not the cleanest one I've ever seen....