Place Riga

Riga is the capital of Latvia and is home to 614,618 inhabitants , which is a third of Latvia’s population. Being significantly larger than other cities of Latvia, Riga is the country’s primate city. It is also the largest city in the three Baltic states and is home to one tenth of the three Baltic states’ combined population. The city lies on the Gulf of Riga at the mouth of the Daugava river where it meets the Baltic Sea. Riga’s territory covers 307.17 km2 and lies 1–10 m above sea level, on a flat and sandy plain.Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former Hanseatic League member. Riga’s historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for its Art Nouveau/Jugendstil architecture and 19th century wooden architecture. Riga was the European Capital of Culture in 2014, along with Umeå in Sweden. Riga hosted the 2006 NATO Summit, the Eurovision Song Contest 2003, the 2006 IIHF Men’s World Ice Hockey Championships, 2013 World Women’s Curling Championship and the 2021 IIHF World Championship. It is home to the European Union’s office of European Regulators for Electronic Communications . In 2017, it was named the European Region of Gastronomy.

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Atlas Obscura 2019
Jauniela (New Street)

Discover Jauniela (New Street) in Riga, Latvia: This charming Latvian lane doubled as Baker Street on the Soviet Union’s version of Sherlock Holmes.

World Heritage Site 1997
Historic Centre of Riga

Riga was a major centre of the Hanseatic League, deriving its prosperity in the 13th–15th centuries from the trade with central and eastern Europe. The urban fabric of its medieval centre reflects this prosperity, though most of the earliest buildings…

Atlas Obscura 2017
The Giant Who Built Riga

A statue plays tribute to the mythical founder of Latvia's capital city—a gentle giant named Christopher.

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Underground Riga
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Riga with Tim Richards
Atlas Obscura 2016
The First Ever Public Christmas Tree

Discover First-Ever Public Christmas Tree Marker in Riga, Latvia: A stone marker and sculpture in the city of Riga stake a claim for the very first community Christmas tree.

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Three centuries of history in Viesturdārzs
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Riga Cinema Map
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Atlas Obscura 2021
Victory Memorial to Soviet Army

Discover Victory Memorial to Soviet Army in Riga, Latvia: This controversial monument was designed to lionize the Red Army, but also disheartened the Latvian people.

Atlas Obscura 2017
Hats From Around The World

Including bonnets made from human hair.

Atlas Obscura 2018
Castle of Light

Discover Castle of Light in Riga, Latvia: Latvia's symbolic mountain-shaped national library is home to millions of cultural tomes.

Atlas Obscura 2019
Stone Head of Salaspils

Discover Stone Head of Salaspils in Riga, Latvia: This enigmatic artifact remained buried in a churchyard for years.

Atlas Obscura 2018
The Three Brothers

Discover The Three Brothers in Riga, Latvia: The oldest housing complex in Riga is a mini timeline of architectural trends.

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Route of industrial objects
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Atlas Obscura 2021
Statue of Prince Mikhail Andreas Barclay de Tolly

Discover Statue of Prince Mikhail Andreas Barclay de Tolly in Riga, Latvia: The former Field Marshall and Minister of War to the Russian Imperial Army.

Atlas Obscura 2020
Freedom Monument

Discover Freedom Monument in Riga, Latvia: This celebration of Latvia’s freedom and independence avoided demolition over half a century of Soviet occupation.

Atlas Obscura 2020
House of the Blackheads

Discover House of the Blackheads in Riga, Latvia: The reconstruction of this prominent building fulfilled a long-written command.

Atlas Obscura 2020

Discover 'Sam' in Riga, Latvia: This statue is dedicated to the animal cosmonauts that perished during space flight experiments.

Museum of the Red Latvian Riflemen (today: Museum of the Occupation of Latvia)