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World Heritage Site 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 were destroyed by fire or war. Riga became an important economic centre in the 19th century, when the suburbs surrounding the medieval town were laid out, first with imposing wooden buildings in neoclassical style and then in Jugendstil . It is generally recognized that Riga has the finest collection of art nouveau buildings in Europe.

Criteria for inclusion as a World Heritage Site

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iTo represent a masterpiece of human creative genius. All
iiTo exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design. All
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Audio Guide
1km
Audio Guide
Riga with Tim Richards
en
Atlas Obscura 2019
0.92km
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.

Atlas Obscura 2020
3.86km
‘Sam’

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

Atlas Obscura 2018
0.86km
The Three Brothers

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

Atlas Obscura 2020
0.98km
House of the Blackheads

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

Audio Guide
1.26km
Audio Guide
Three centuries of history in Viesturdārzs
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Audio Guide
8.59km
Audio Guide
Route of industrial objects
en lv
Atlas Obscura 2017
1.24km
The Giant Who Built Riga

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

Atlas Obscura 2021
0.17km
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 2021
2.68km
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.

Brutalism
1.01km
Museum of the Red Latvian Riflemen (today: Museum of the Occupation of Latvia)
Atlas Obscura 2018
1.88km
Castle of Light

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

Audio Guide
1.97km
Audio Guide
Underground Riga
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Audio Guide
0.08km
Audio Guide
Riga Cinema Map
en lv ru
Place
0.86km
Riga
Atlas Obscura 2019
0.92km
Stone Head of Salaspils

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

Atlas Obscura 2020
0.36km
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 2016
0.99km
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.

Atlas Obscura 2017
1.15km
Hats From Around The World

Including bonnets made from human hair.