One day of Latvian history
- 12 sights
This is a route for those ready to devote the whole day to exploring the history of Latvia. It is advisable to walk at least part of the distance and to use public transport in some sections along Brīvības Street and Tram Line No. 1.
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.
The Corner House It is no surprise that this building, originally called the Teteris Building, is having problems finding new tenants – as its basements and hallways hold terrifying and sad stories of the past. The building was designed in the national romanticism and Art Nouveau style by architect Aleksandrs Vanags (1873-1919) and was constructed in 1911. The building was initially meant to serve as a rental building, with shops on the ground floor.
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.
Riga Latvian Society BuildingThe Riga Latvian Society (RLS) is the oldest Latvian organization in the world. It has had an outstanding role in the history of the Latvian nation, and thanks to it several notable Latvian educational, culture and science institutions, which still work today, were founded.
Riga Central MarketFor almost 90 years, the Riga Central Market has served as the heart of Riga – always full of life, always colorful and always busy. When the market was unveiled in 1930, it was not only the largest, but the most modern in Europe, and it still serves its original purpose to this day.
November 11th EmbankmentLatvians calls the Daugava the “river of fate”, with many fateful moments in history having taken place on its banks. On January 13, 1991, about half a million people gathered by the Daugava River in Riga to express their support for the Lithuanian people, who were attacked by Soviet special forces the night before, as well as express their support for the continuation of Latvia’s path towards independence.
Latvian National Library, closed until 7.12.2020Already in 1928, the necessity of constructing a special building to hold the Latvian National Library was discussed. However, only in 1988 was the decision made for its construction on the left side of the Daugava River – between the Akmens and Dzelzceļš bridges.
Victory Park and Victory MonumentWhat has Victory Park not seen during its existence! Work on the park began in 1909 as a landscape park, and was called Peter Park, but over the years the park’s name changed on various occasions and served as a venue for military parades, and even hosted the Song Festival in 1938.
Sudrabkalniņš – memorial for fight against Bermondt armyMade of granite blocks from the Daugavgrīva Fort, as well as leftover granite from the Freedom Monument Project, this memorial at Sudrabkalniņš is dedicated to the soldiers of the Riga 6th Infantry Regiment, which in November of 1919 fought here the forces of Commander Pavel Bermondt-Avalov (1877-1974), and despite being outnumber and outgunned defeated the warlord.