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    Tourist Attractions in Latvia

    The most interesting and beautiful tourist attractions in Latvia. Photos and a brief description.

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    About Latvia

    Latvia is a country with a leisurely pace of life. Hospitable locals advise, just as slowly and steadily to get acquainted with the various attractions of the pearl of the Baltic. The architecture of the country is represented by ancient buildings – the Bau Castle or the Dome Cathedral and modern structures – the Riga TV Tower. Separately, it is possible to single out houses of a style characteristic only for the capital – Riga Art Nouveau.

    Natural beauty – waterfalls, rivers, forests can be appreciated in the national parks of Latvia. Many of them have wellness centers. Cultural life is represented by museums of various subjects. The traditional ones are the art museum and the Ethnographic Museum. The Riga Motor Museum is unusual and unique. Not only the capital of the country is worthy of tourists’ attention, but also small and cozy cities such as Kuldiga or Jurmala.

    Top Cities to Visit in Latvia

    Top Tourist Attractions in Latvia

    Old Town (Riga)

    The historical part of Riga, from which it is advised to begin acquaintance with the capital. A walk through this area will take several hours. On the cozy streets of the Old Town there are beautiful churches and old houses, and also here is the Riga Castle – the centuries-old residence of the rulers of the state. Seasoned travelers are also advised to go to one of the small cafes of the Old Town. Pastries and coffee in them are extremely tasty.

    Old Town (Riga)
    House of the Blackheads (Riga)

    House of the Blackheads (Riga)

    The building belonged to the largest corporation of foreign shipowners and merchants, founded in the XIV century. In the past, they have hosted balls and celebrations in this house, as well as held important public meetings. The facade of the building was reconstructed after the destruction during the Great Patriotic War. Currently, the building of the House of the Blackheads is used for classical music concerts.

    Riga Art Nouveau

    About a third of the houses in the center of Riga are made in a special architectural style called "Riga Art Nouveau". Most of the buildings were erected at the beginning of the XX century. Distinctive elements of the style are bas-reliefs in the form of masks of women, unusual floral decor and stucco molding in the form of mythological creatures. Many houses of this style are located on Elisabetes Street, Albert Street. Interesting is the "House with dragons" on Antonias Street, 8.

    Riga Art Nouveau
    Freedom Monument (Riga)

    Freedom Monument (Riga)

    It was installed in 1935. He honors the memory of the fighters who fell for the independence of Latvia. It is located on the central boulevard of Riga. The height of the monument is 42 meters. On top of it there is a 20-meter sculpture of a young girl, it is she who symbolizes freedom. At the base of the stele there are 13 figures and sculptures depicting the main moments of the country's history. The Freedom Monument is considered an unofficial symbol of the country.

    Kuldiga

    An ancient city with unusual architecture in the west of the country. One of the first churches of the city is the Church of St. Catherine, founded in 1252. The city square has been preserving the traditions of the city since the XVII century – holidays, fairs and exhibitions are held on it. The Venta River attracts the interest of travelers. It forms a wide picturesque waterfall. In 1874, a bridge with brick arches was laid across the river to pass to the other side.

    Kuldiga
    Yomas Street (Jurmala)

    Yomas Street (Jurmala)

    It is one of the oldest in Jurmala, founded in the XIX century. The street is pedestrian, there are many cafes, small restaurants and souvenir shops on it. Every year, festive events are held on it in honor of the founding of the street – contests and concerts are held, rides are arranged, fireworks are set off. An interesting historical building is the People's House of Jurmala, previously it housed a cinema.

    House with black cats (Riga)

    It was built in the Late Art Nouveau style in 1909. Symmetrically mounted on the turrets, the cats were initially turned with their tails towards the building of a Large Guild. According to legend, this is how the homeowner Bloomer cynically expressed his dissatisfaction, who was not accepted into it. As a result of numerous lawsuits, the cats were turned in the other direction. The facade of the building is decorated with an eagle with open wings.

    House with black cats (Riga)
    Three brothers (Riga)

    Three brothers (Riga)

    A residential complex representing a single architectural ensemble in Old Riga. Urban legend says that they were built by three men from the same family. Each of them erected a building in its own style, characteristic of the era of construction. The "White Brother" was built first of all – in 1490, the "Middle brother" – in 1746, the "Green Brother" – in 1718. Currently, the buildings of the architectural monument are occupied by state institutions.

    Daugavpils Fortress

    Located in the city of Daugavpils, it is a defensive fort on the banks of the Western Dvina River. The construction of the castle began in the XIX century. Fortifications consist of a rampart, bastions and redoubts. There was a church on the parade ground of the fortress, which was blown up in 1944. The fortress is divided into quarters, the main and secondary streets are laid out. The decor of the fortress houses is minimal, it is made in the style of late classicism.

    Daugavpils Fortress
    Latvian National Opera (Riga)

    Latvian National Opera (Riga)

    It is home to National Opera and Ballet troupes. This state institution is engaged in the development of classical art in Latvia. The building was built in 1863 and originally belonged to the City German Theater. Over the years, it has suffered fires, an artillery shell hit and several reconstructions. Many ballet dancers have achieved world fame – Mikhail Baryshnikov, Maris Liepa and Alexander Godunov.

    Dzintari Concert Hall (Jurmala)

    A cinema and concert complex known all over the world. It hosts world-class festivals and concerts. For a better sound, special elements – glass diamonds - are installed above the stage of the open large hall. The five–level stage can be used for concerts of various subjects - jazz, choir and performances of symphony orchestras. The small hall is stylized with motifs of national romanticism.

    Dzintari Concert Hall (Jurmala)
    Riga Motor Museum (Riga)

    Riga Motor Museum (Riga)

    One of the most interesting car museums in Europe. The three-storey building was built specifically for the exhibition of the car collection. The area of the museum halls is more than 3000 m2. Cars made in Latvia, military equipment, a collection of cars produced by Auto-Uniom concern, as well as motorcycles, mopeds and outboard motors are presented. Some exhibits, such as the Soviet RAEF-50, exist in a single copy.

    Latvian Ethnographic Museum (Riga)

    It was founded in 1924. It consists of 118 buildings transported to the museum from different parts of Latvia. In the complex, they give a complete picture of the rural historical landscape of the country. The houses of fishermen, artisans, and peasants are available for inspection. From outbuildings – mills, churches, blacksmiths. Inside the buildings, the interior is recreated, corresponding to the life of people in a particular region, the way of life and culture of the time period are shown.

    Latvian Ethnographic Museum (Riga)
    Latvian National Art Museum (Riga)

    Latvian National Art Museum (Riga)

    The museum has more than 50,000 works of art. Paintings by both Latvian and foreign artists are presented. The building of the museum in the style of classicism and Baroque is an architectural monument. It was built in 1905. More than 100 years later, the reconstruction of the building was carried out. An underground floor with a glass roof appeared. Two terraces under the roof were rebuilt for exhibition halls.

    Latvian Military Museum

    Dedicated to the history of the Latvian armed forces. Initially, the museum was housed in a surviving Powder Tower, and the exposition was dedicated to the memory of Latvian shooters who died in the First World War. In 1940, the museum moved to a specially built building for it. Currently, the museum's expositions highlight the military history of the peoples of the Baltic region for many centuries and the role of the armed forces in the formation of the Latvian state.

    Latvian Military Museum
    (Riga) Latvian Occupation Museum (Riga)

    (Riga) Latvian Occupation Museum (Riga)

    The museum's exposition tells about the history of Latvia in the period from 1941 to 1990. The museum is private, but has state accreditation. There are more than 60,000 objects and 30,000 documents and photographs in the collections that preserve the memory of the period of the occupation of Latvia. Including recorded more than 2000 videos with people who survived this period. The museum is often visited by major politicians such as Petro Poroshenko and Angela Merkel.

    Dome Cathedral (Riga)

    One of the largest and oldest religious buildings in Latvia. The cathedral was built in 1211. Located in the center of Riga. Its architectural style combines elements of Art Nouveau, Baroque and Gothic. The height of the spire before the fire in 1547 was 140 meters. The cathedral has an organ with 6768 pipes. Hundreds of people come to enjoy his music. And also in the walls of the cathedral there is a Museum of the history of Riga and navigation.

    Dome Cathedral (Riga)
    St. Peter's Church (Riga)

    St. Peter's Church (Riga)

    Lutheran Church, built in 1209. It is included in the list of UNESCO protected sites. Its 123-meter-high spire is visible from almost all corners of Riga. Above – only the Riga TV Tower. At a height of 71 meters, an observation deck is equipped on the spire. Almost the entire city and the valley of the Daugava River are perfectly visible from it. Inside the church there is an ancient carved wooden altar, a chapel of the Blue Guard, a statue of the knight Roland.

    Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ (Riga)

    The cathedral was built at the end of the XIX century in the traditional Byzantine style. The temple is five-domed with a large bell tower. Russian painters were invited to paint – Vereshchagin, Shamshin, Venig. The XX century was difficult for the cathedral. During the time of the change of political power in Latvia, divine services were not conducted in the cathedral, the building almost collapsed. Only in 1992, religious life resumed in the restored building.

    Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ (Riga)
    Aglona Basilica

    Aglona Basilica

    It was founded in 1768. On the day of the Ascension of the Mother of God, more than 150,000 pilgrims come here. The record for attendance was 1993, when Pope John Paul II served the Pontifical Mass. 380,000 pilgrims came to hear the mass. The style of the basilica is later Baroque. There are beliefs that the spring at the lake near the basilica is holy and can heal, and the Mother of God of Aglon protects newborn children.

    Turaida Castle

    It was founded in 1214. It was built on the site of a wooden Crusader castle. It burned down at the end of the XVIII century. But tourists still continued to visit its ruins, and their interest in the ruins influenced the decision to restore the castle. Since 1973, excavations have been carried out here and many valuable antiques have already been found. In parallel, the restoration of the castle is underway. Several towers, some buildings and walls have been restored.

    Turaida Castle
    Sigulda Castle

    Sigulda Castle

    It was built by the Crusaders in 1207 after their victory over the local population. One of the most powerful and protected fortresses in Livonia. Over the centuries, the castle has changed many owners and survived many battles and assaults. To date, the tower and several fragments of the walls have been preserved from the castle. In the design elements, you can see the style of early Gothic. Elements of the interior and facades have been preserved in the ruins of the chapel.

    Rundal Palace (Pilsrundale)

    Residence of the Dukes of Courland. Its name means "Valley of Tranquility". Its construction began in 1736. The palace complex includes outbuildings and a stable. There is a French-style garden around it. The palace is two-storied, it has 138 rooms. It was built in the Baroque style, and the facade is made in the Rococo style. Currently, the palace is used for receiving high-ranking guests from abroad by the President.

    Rundal Palace (Pilsrundale)
    Cesis Castle

    Cesis Castle

    Also known as the Wenden Castle. One of the best preserved castles of the Teutonic Order. Built in the XIII century. The city of Cesis was erected at its walls later. Among the owners of the castle is the Russian chancellor Bestuzhev, who abandoned the castle after a severe fire in it. At the end of the XVIII century, Baron Sievers restored the castle, and also added extensions to it – the Church of the Savior, the "New Castle" and the Lademacher Tower.

    Bau Castle

    It was built in the XV century by the knights of the Livonian Order to protect against Lithuanian troops. Over time, the settlements of artisans and fishermen around turned into the town of Bauska. During the Second Northern War , the castle was blown up by order of Peter I. And the locals used the fragments of the walls for their needs. In 1970, the restoration of the castle began. Currently, several museum expositions are located within its walls.

    Bau Castle
    Riga TV Tower

    Riga TV Tower

    The tallest building in the Baltic States is 369 meters high. The TV tower is located on Hare Island. At an altitude of 97 meters there is a viewing platform from which Riga and the Gulf of Riga are remarkably visible. High-speed elevators are located in two pillars of the tower. Above, on the technological floors, there is a regular elevator. The sky-facing TV tower building is one of the most recognizable symbols of Riga.

    Dzintari Forest Park (Jurmala)

    Located in the center of Jurmala. It has a unique forest of 200-year-old pine trees. The green zone is large – it occupies 13 hectares. Great for hiking. The paths are laid between the trees, there are a sufficient number of benches for recreation. The park has special paths for cycling and roller skating. Playgrounds are equipped, a skate park is equipped for teenagers.

    Dzintari Forest Park
    Verman Park (Riga)

    Verman Park (Riga)

    Founded in 1813, it is one of the oldest parks in Riga. It is named after the widow of Verman, who donated a large sum for the construction of a park on the site of the quagmire. The area of the park is 5 hectares. There is a fountain in the center of the park. More than 2000 trees and shrubs have been planted, including ash–leaved fallow deer and Manchurian walnut, which are not typical for this area. The park's rose garden is notable – the first in Riga.

    Ventas Rumba

    The waterfall is located in the town of Kuldiga on the Venta River. The natural monument is appreciated for the fact that it is located within the city and its inspection is very convenient for tourists. From the city side, a staircase has been built to it and there is an observation deck. The width of the waterfall is about 100 meters, in high water it can be more than 200 meters. The height is about 2 meters. The current of the river is slow, some daredevils wade through the waterfall a step away from the cliff.

    Ventas Rumba
    Daugavas loki

    Daugavas loki

    The nature Park is located on the banks of the Daugava River, in a picturesque place where it makes 8 bends. The height difference in this place is significant – it reaches 50 meters. The largest cliff with the name Verversky is 42 meters high. Several thousand people visit the park every year. They are attracted not only by the natural beauty of the park, but also by the historical attractions in it – castles and parishes.

    Kemeri

    The National Park was founded in 1997 and is of high importance in the field of nature protection. It is divided into three zones. People are not allowed to enter one of the protected areas at all, visitors are allowed access to others. Trails are laid for walking, bridges are thrown over streams. They pass through the big Kemer swamp, sand dunes, past lakes. Bicycles can also be rented. There are two mineral springs in the park, they do SPA treatments.

    Kemeri
    Gauja

    Gauja

    The picturesque park is the most famous in Latvia. Located in the Gauja River Valley. Because of the beautiful views and landscapes, the park is often called Livonian or Latvian Switzerland. Most tourists are attracted by the cliffs of Devonian sandstone, their height reaches 90 meters. Most of the territory is covered with forest, there are many lakes in it. You can also explore historical monuments – mounds, medieval castles, rock paintings.

    Riga Zoo

    More than 300,000 people visit the zoo every year. It is home to more than 2000 animals of 400 different species. The zoo is located on the shore of Kishezers Lake. This is a large green area with walking alleys and beautiful landscape solutions. Cozy gazebos have been built on the shore of the lake. You can not only look at the animals in the Riga Zoo, but also feed them. A "Village corner" is equipped for this. There is a cafe for visitors in the zoo.

    Riga Zoo
    Jurmala Beach

    Jurmala Beach

    The total length of the beaches of Jurmala is about 30 km. There is clean and soft sand on all of them. Majori Beach is considered the most popular among young people because of the many active beach activities on it. For family holidays with children choose — Bulduri and Yaunkemeri. They have a smooth and shallow entry into the water. Windsurfers prefer Pumpuri beach – a strong wind creates decent waves there.

    Gulf of Riga

    Located between Estonia and Latvia. The cities of Riga, Jurmala, Pärnu are located on its shores. The water temperature warms up to 18 degrees in summer, and drops below 0 degrees in winter. The wide beaches of the shores consist of white sand, but there are also rocky areas. There is a strip of dunes up to 10 meters high. Some parts of the coast are covered with dense forest. The diverse nature of the bay makes it a wonderful place to relax.

    Gulf of Riga