Latvian National Theater - Brethren Cemetery
- 11 sights
- Distance: ~ 6 km
- Time: Tram ride in one direction ~ 40 minutes (including a 10 minute walk from the stop to the Brethren Cemetery)
Tram Line No. 11 will take you from the city center to the picturesque suburb of Mežaparks. We recommend walking the first part of this route through Bastejkalns and then stopping by at the hotel “Rīga” (now the Grand Hotel Kempinski) for a cup of coffee. Take the tram for the remaining part of the route and get off at “Brāļu kapi” (Brethren Cemetery) stop. From the tram stop, it is an approximately 10-minute walk to the cemetery.
Latvian National TheaterSources note that November 18, 1918 was a cool and cloudy day. Over 1,200 people had gathered at the Riga City Second Theater (now Latvian National Theater) for a very important premiere. The stage lights on this night were being directed at 37 men and one lady – 38 Latvians who were taking the stage for a very clear objective: declaring the new independent Republic of Latvia.
Freedom MonumentThe Freedom Monument has been standing tall and proud in central Riga for over 80 years. The granite, travertine and copper monument symbolizes the desire of the Latvian people for freedom and independence. The monument was designed and built by sculptor Kārlis Zāle and constructed using donations from the people.
Memorial slab dedicated to Baltic WayOn August 23, 1991, approximately two million residents of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia joined hands to form a 600 kilometer long human chain from Tallinn through Riga, all the way to Vilnius, to demonstrate in a peaceful way against the Soviet occupation on the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and express their desire for independence. To commemorate this event, a special memorial was unveiled in Old Town Riga as a gift from Lithuania called Pēdas (Footprints). Such memorial slabs have also been set-up in Vilnius and Tallinn.
Latvian National Opera and BalletRiga’s White House – the Latvian National Opera and Ballet, has always been the pride of the nation, which over the years has produced many prominent conductors, ballet dancers and world class opera stars, for example, Elīna Garanča, Andris Nelsons, Kristīne Opolais, Aleksandrs Antoņenko and others. Even though the history of Latvian opera goes back years before this, the first performance to take place at the Latvian National Opera was Richard Wagner’s opera the Flying Dutchman on January 23, 1919.
Hotel Rīga (Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga) Oh, if the walls of this hotel could speak! Recently, the luxurious Kempinski chain moved into the hotel, which was originally opened in 1954 as Hotel Rīga and was seen as one of the best hotels in the Soviet Union, and until 1970 was the only hotel in the city where foreigners stayed.
Daile TheaterEvery great director needs his or her own theater, and this was the dream of one of the fathers of Latvian theater and the founder of the Daile Theater (1920) Eduards Smiļģis (1886-1966). It was him who insisted that the new theater building must be built on Brīvības Street 75 (then called Lenin Street), and helped architect and interior designer Marta Staņa (1913-1972) win the tender for the building’s design in 1959.