Riga, Latvia. This once grand city is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. There is definitely some money here since the Soviets left. The weather and light were not particularly cooperative. That combined with a very short stay resulted in fewer good photos, but there are a couple none the less.

History & Architecture

Originally known as Livonia and controlled by Germany, Latvia is an often unfortunate country that was devastated by W.W.I and overrun by Hitler's troops shortly after gaining independence from Russia. It has been alternately under the control of the Germany, Poland, Sweden and Russia. After Germany's defeat in W.W.II, the Soviet Union occupied Latvia until 1991. Settlement in Riga dates back Millenia, but the "modern" city was settled by German traders and missionaries in the 12th century. Though the english can be a bit broken, a great source of info on Riga can be found at TourNet.lv

Riga is the largest city in the Baltic states, and was apparently one of the more grand European cities prior to W.W.II. It is home to one the largest extant collections of jugendstil architecture (a northern European form of Art Nouveau) anywhere in the world. Nazi occupation, bombing and Soviet neglect, required that most of the city be rebuilt. As a result, much of the city's historic center, Vecriga - the "Old City", has been faithfully restored to it's condition prior to Nazi occupation. The result are some wonderful cobblestone streets with plazas that look as if they are straight out of a fairy tale. The city dates back 800 years and Vecriga is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Around Town


All photos on this page are originals by & copyrighted by Daren Willden, unless otherwise stated.
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