If you have a free evening, go to the movies and try cinema “RIGA”. You will be surprised about the old-fashioned building indoors as well as outdoors.
Don’t be afraid that movies will be in Latvian. They are always in original language with subtitles in Latvian and Russian.
Riga’s Zoo is nice place for the long walks. In the past few years it had a lot of renewals- so looks nice and has a lot of different animals in it.
Just near the ZOO you can do a lot of different things, like take a boat and try your skills of rowing in the lake, rent some rollers or take a look at the carousels, who are still working and staying there since time of the Soviet Union.
That can be real fun!
On the 14th of June 1941, more than 16,000 people were deported to Siberia.
At the edge of the railroad tracks runnning past the Tornakalns railway station in Riga, there lies a stone with the numbers "1941." The sculptor of this memorial was called Ojars Feldbergs, who put it there in 1990, and it is a reminder of all the pain and suffering of the people who were deported to Siberia by the Soviet regime in 1941. It is by the Tornakalns station because many of the people were deported directly from the station. It also reminds of the pain and loss of the family and friends of the people who were sent away.
Originally built in the middle of 14th century, it was fully rebuilt in 2001 for Riga's 800th anniversary. In the Second World War these buildings were destroyed and now it is very great pleasure to see such great sights again.
Melngalvu nams (in Latvian) stands in town hall square near St. Peter's church, Roland statue, Occupation museum and river Danube. It was used as a residence for merchants to stay.
Who and why moved some of Berlin Wall to this side of the World? Actually it is nice to see it in Riga, as I don’t have possibility to see it in Berlin still. This place is located somewhere in the park near the Riga castle. Maybe wall not looks as impressive as architectural monuments, but we know it was a part of history, the symbol of two Cold War blocks.
The first castle built by the Order of the Sword Brothers around 1209 and originally named Wittgenstein Castle ("made of white stone"). In the 18th century it became a residence for Russian governor general. Now the castle is the president's residence.
It also houses two museums.
It is known, that first church in this place of city was built earlier than in 1418, later much time damaged, but have their own old style till these days (but only not so unique, of course). The new church was dedicated in 1869 and replaced old burned church. This new one is gothic too - face bricks, portals, finials, ledges, mullions are of concrete.
I walked there and found this church in my Riga travel guide, it was not mentioned as "must see place", but if you go to the central part of city in Brivibas street, surely nice to see this beauty and listen to the organs music inside.
The impressive building in which the museum is situated was built in 1905 and it is the oldest of its kind in the Baltic States.
The museum has 52.000 objects and naturally the focus is on Latvian Art, but there are also lots of paintings from other Baltic and Russian artists.
Apart from the permanent collection there are always temporary exhibitions to visit.
The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
This monument is probably the saddest and bloodiest of them all. As the name very efficiently explains, this monument is to recognize the unfortunate people who were killed and tortured by Communists and Soviets in general. It first came to people's minds after Latvia regained it's independence, that their families and loved ones who where either deported to Siberia or just killed should receive some kind of moral compensation for all their suffering. It was long debated on the location of the memorial, but eventually they decided to place it at the Tornkalns railway station, probably because it was also the place from where many Latvians were sent to Siberia in small train wagons in 1941. The monument was dedicated on the 14th of June 2001 (14 June 1941 was when the first major deportations took place) by President Vaira Vike-Freiberga herself. The monument was made by a Latvian architect P. Jaunzems and consists of a series of rocks that represent the three generations that were tortured by the deportations.
The Natural History Museum have got permanent exhibitions on four floors. There are no signs in English , but at the entrance you will get a map of the museum in English.
2nd floor: There is a geology exhibition with minerals of Latvia and other parts of the world, and there is palaeontology exhibition showing different eras of the earths development and with a lot of fossils.
3rd floor: Here you can see stuffed mammals and birds, not only from Latvia but many other parts of the world.
4th floor: On this floor you can see a lot of butterflies and other insects. There is also a display of different environmental types of Latvia.
5th floor: Here there are exhibitions of environmental protection and of human evolution.
By the entrance there is a room for temporary exhibitions and when I visited there were handicraft, related to Christmas, on display.
The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. It is open between 10 - 17 on Wednesdays (the first one every month it is closed), Fridays and Saturdays, between 10 - 18 on Thursdays and between 10 - 16 on Sundays.
Admission was 1.20 Ls (December 2008), but if you come half an hour before closing time admission is free.
The person who designed this monument was named Karlis Plukasne and the sculptor (the person who actually made it) was called Albert Terpilovskis. You can find the monument at 11 Novembra iela in Riga, near the Iron Bridge. It was made in memory of the people who were killed, injured, or drowned in Daugava River, in a political demonstration that took place in 1905. The monument was unveiled in 1960 and it represents a man taking a flag from his fallen comrad to carry it futher. The figures are made of bronze and are standing on a granite block
Pãrsla Zalkalne created this work of art, and as one can obviously see, it is a sculpture of three nude young women dancing in a circle. It was made around 1970 and fits well with the trees and green plains surrounding it in summer. In the 60s and 70s all the sculptures and paintings were supposed to symbolize the peace and ideas that the Soviet Union had brought. When this sculpture was made, the Soviets did not like the idea of the nude women, so Pãrsla Zalkalne had to create a soothing name for his sculpture. Therefore it is called "Peace Dance."
Are those bullet holes?
If you look closely at the Peace Dance sculpture, you will notice bullet holes. The are from January, 1991 when defenders of the barricade were killed by the Soviets.
The return of Latvian Independence did not come without victims. On January 20th 1991, at the edge of the Riga calan at Bastejkalns, special units of the Soviet army shot and killed 5 Latvian patriots: the two camera men Andris Slapins and Gvido Zvaigzne, a schoolboy called Edijs Reikstins, and the two policemen lieutenants Sergei Kononenko and Vladimir Gomanovic. At the spots where they fell, the sculptor Arvids Voitbabs placed five reddish-brown stones representing blood drops from the five Latvians.
They were unveiled on the 10th of August 1991, and each stone has a polished surface on which it has the inscription??"Shot on 20th of August 1991" and is cut in half - a life interrupted.
Big Kristaps (Big Christopher) is Riga?s protector from floods and other natural disasters. The monument first appeared in the 16th century in a small cave along the banks of the Daugava River. The legend says that one
day after returning home from carrying the Christ child across the deep water of the Daugava River, the humble giant found a pile of gold, which he used to build Riga. Today, the statue of Big Kristaps stands in a small glass structure on the bank of the Daugava River, from where he keeps watch over the city he built (Riga).
This monument, as you might have figured from its title is made in tribute to the city of Riga’s closest friends, which are cities in this case. The monument is located on Dom Square. The monument is made of a series of pieces of different colored, stained glass with the crests of Riga’s partner cities: Rostock, Vilnius, Tallinn, Bremen, Szczeczin, Kobe, Pori, T’blisi, Minsk, Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), and Moscow. This monument was made by Latvian artists and craftsmen Ivars Strautmanis, Juris Gustsons, Janis Zibens and Aleksandrs Stankevics in the around the year 1970. The monument was to thank and pay tribute Riga’s fellow cities to show their national friendship and common political traditions.
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