Town Hall, Riga
Riga’s Town Hall dominates one side of the square that bears its name, the Ratslaukums or Town Hall Square. It looks pretty old but is actually an early 21st century copy of the 17th century neo-classical original which was completely destroyed in the Second World War. The facade is decorated with the emblem of the city and has a statue of Themis, a Greek goddess of divine law and order.
To go inside you must pass through airport-style security, with bags searched (rather perfunctorily, it has to be said) and a walk-through security gate. It is worth doing this, as you will be instantly struck by the contrast. In rebuilding the town hall for the 21st century the architects retained the old facade but behind it sits a modern-day functional civic building. As I like architecture that mixes old and new I was quite taken with this and especially by the gleaming aluminium fountain that turns in the centre of the large lobby.
Next tip: the famous House of the Blackheads
Towering over the main square of Ratlauskums is Riga's neoclassical town hall. Built in the 17th century, it was totally destroyed in World War 2, but an exact replica was rebuilt in its spot as recently as 2003. The building's facade is decorated with the emblem of Riga, and Themis, goddess of divine justice.
Riga Town Hall is a beautiful, big building located in Town Hall Square. Not the original, as this was destroyed in World War II and rebuilt later.
Town Hall Square was where markets and feasts were held, and was the centre of public life in the Middle Ages.
From the balcony of the Town Hall municipal orders used to be read out, punishments were executed and pageants used to be arranged here as well.
Now, its a nice big square with plenty of shops and outdoors cafes, an area with plenty of interest!
Town hall was rebuilt not so far ago. Now it has the old style of architecture (mostly exterior) and modern part (interior). In the town hall I have found very interesting exhibition - one of objects was very old oak tree - having already about 3000 years. Even hard to imagine that this tree started to grow up from times when old civilizations existed.
On the north side of Town Hall Square (Ratslaukums Square) is the Town Hall, where the Riga City Council has their home. In the council are 60 councillors elected for four years.
The Town Hall, and the buildings around, where completely destroyed during World War II, but some have been rebuilt. The Town Hall, which is a three storey building with a clock tower, was rebuilt in 2003.
In a tiny shoping mall north of Kalku Iela, close to the town Hall, you’ll find an old oak trunk. It was discovered during construction works and is said to be over 2000 years old. It’s not only that you wouldn’t expect such a thing in a shopping mall, but I think this place is quite inadequate for such an old trunk.
Riga’s town hall is only of recent date, having been constructed in 2002. Although looking beautiful in its necoclassical style, it is overshadowed by a more impressive building at the same square: The House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads.
In the Middle Ages the center of the town was town square, where many events took place and also the goods were sold here. At that time when such town centers were developing around them also were growing the same city. Mostly near or in the center of the square was Town Hall. Such Town Hall Squares has stayed in Tallinn, Rīga and other cities of Europe. Town Square was the heart of the city.
In this Town Hall Square merchants were selling goods, people were celebrating holidays, reading special information and doing many other things. Here also stood the pillory where persons were shamed if they had done something bad.
In the Town Hall Square you can see Roland's Statue which in the past symbolized freedom. The similar statues has stayed in many Town Hall Squares in Germany, also in some cities in Europe. This current statue isn't original, because it was damaged in WWII.
As I mentioned before in the Town Hall Square also you can find the Town Hall, but it has recently rebuilt.
In front of the House of Blackheads you can see the Knights Roland or St. Roland statue.
Knight Roland was patron of Riga. His statue was located in the centre of the Town Hall Square in 1897, but after it was damaged in WWII statue was moved to St. Peter's Church.
Nowadays in the Town Hall Square you can see dublicate of Knights Roland statue, because the original statue, as was decided, is too precious to return to its historical place.