Eastern and Central Europe (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

(Ben Green) #1
Museum of Rīga’s
History and
Rīga’s vēstures un
kuğniecības muzejs

Palasta iela 4. Map B3. Tel 6721

  1. May–Sep: 11am–5pm daily;

    Oct–May: 11am–5pm Wed–Sun. ¢
    Mon & Tue. & 8 http://www.rigamuz.Lv

Founded in 1773, this museum
is the oldest in Rīga. Housed
in an impressive build ing with
tiled stoves and stained-
glass win dows, it
is also one of the
city’s most interest-
ing museums.
The exhi bition
on navigation
covers the mari-
time history of the
city up until World
War I, and includes
several large models
of ships and material
on Krišjānis Valdemārs (1825–
91), a key figure of the
Latvian National Awakening.

Dome Cathedral^1
Doma baznīca

Doma laukums 1. Map B3.
Tel 6721 3213. # May–Sep:
9am–6pm Sat–Tue, Thu, 9am–5pm
Wed & Fri; Oct–Apr: 10am–5pm
daily. ¢ for special events. & 5
10am Sun. http://www.doms.lv

Founded as St Mary’s by
Bishop Albert von
Buxhoevden in 1211, the
cathedral became one of the
city’s three seats of power
along with the Town Hall and
Rīga Castle. It gained its
current name from the German
word dom (cathedral) during
the Reformation. The cathedral
looks as if it has sunk, but in
fact the land around it has
been raised to keep out flood-
water from the Daugava river.
One of the largest places of
worship in the region, the
cathedral has been altered
over the years and its bulky
structure exhibits a variety of
styles. The altar alcove and
the east wing crossing are
Romanesque, with a cross-
vaulted ceiling and rows of
semi-circular windows.
Simpler Neo-Gothic
additions are
characterized by
pointed arches,
large windows
and lierne vault-
ing, while the
eastern pediment
and the steeple are
in 18th-century
Baroque style. The
portal was added in
the 19th century, followed by
an Art Nouveau vestibule in
the 20th century. Most of the


For hotels and restaurants in this region see pp92–3

Other rooms cover everything
from prehistory to indepen-
dence, with emphasis on the
mid-19th to mid-20th cen-
turies. High lights from the
Middle Ages include the
Madonna on a Crescent
Moon, a sculpture of the
patroness of the Great Guild
(a union of Rīga mer chants),
which was taken to Germany
during World War II and Big
Kristaps, a large 16th-cen tury
statue of St Christopher.

Rīga Castle^3
Rīgas pils

Pils laukums 3. Map B3. Museum
of Foreign Art Tel 6722 6467.
# 11am–5pm Tue–Sun. & 8
http://www.amm.lv History Museum
of Latvia Tel 6722 1357. # 11am–
5pm Wed–Sun. & 8

The city’s original Livonian
Order castle was destroyed by
Rīga’s citizens during a war
against the Order lasting from
1297 to 1330. After losing, the
townspeople were forced to
build a new castle on the
present site just outside the
city. Continuing quarrels
resulted in the Master of the
Order leaving the capital, but
Rīga Castle was destroyed by
the citizens once more in

  1. They were defeated
    again and the next castle the
    towns people were compelled
    to build forms the core of the
    current structure and was the
    headquarters of the Livonian
    Order until 1561. As well as

interior’s decor was destroyed
during the Reformation, and it
is now very plain, except for
the tombs of merchants and
the 19th-cen tury stained glass.
The wood work of the
17th-cen tury pulpit is ornate,
however, as is the organ case,
which is Mannerist with
Baroque and Rococo additions.
The organ was built in
Germany in 1884. In the
summer it is possible to visit
the cross-vaulted gallery of
the Dome, the Romanesque
cloister and courtyard.

Model ship at the
Museum of Rīga’s
History and Navigation

Changing of the guard outside Rīga
Castle in the Old Town

Impressive cross-vaulted gallery of the Dome Cathedral

Free download pdf