Riga.

I’ve left Aunty and Number 1 Daughter at home this weekend to attend the EDTNA Conference in Riga. Getting should have been easy with a plane from Cardiff via Amesterdam to Riga. But because of plane problems and missed connections it took me over 16 hours from leaving home to getting to my hotel! But I got here.

It’s not been all work while I’ve been here. I have had the opportunity to wander around the city, and I think over the last few days I’ve walked miles. The following are just a few photographs taken with the iPhone.

The Freedom Monument is a memorial located in Riga, Latvia, honouring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence (1918–1920). It is considered an important symbol of the freedom, independence, and sovereignty of Latvia. Unveiled in 1935, the 42m high monument of granite, travertine, and copper often serves as the focal point of public gatherings and official ceremonies in Riga.
The Freedom Monument is a memorial located in Riga, Latvia, honouring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence (1918–1920). It is considered an important symbol of the freedom, independence, and sovereignty of Latvia. Unveiled in 1935, the 42m high monument of granite, travertine, and copper often serves as the focal point of public gatherings and official ceremonies in Riga.
The idea of building a memorial to honor soldiers killed in action during the Latvian War of Independence first emerged in the early 1920s. On July 27, 1922, the Prime Minister of Latvia, Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics, ordered rules to be drawn up for a contest for designs of a
The idea of building a memorial to honor soldiers killed in action during the Latvian War of Independence first emerged in the early 1920s. On July 27, 1922, the Prime Minister of Latvia, Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics, ordered rules to be drawn up for a contest for designs of a “memorial column”.
There is guard of honour during the day.
A Roland statue is something typical to be found in many old cities in Germany, central Europe and the Baltic States. This statue, depicting a kight with his sword, is seen as a symbol of medieval city rights and independence.
A Roland statue is something typical to be found in many old cities in Germany, central Europe and the Baltic States. This statue, depicting a kight with his sword, is seen as a symbol of medieval city rights and independence.
House of the Blackheads, the original building was erected during the first third of the 14th century for the Brotherhood of Blackheads, a guild for unmarried German merchants in Riga. Major works were done in the years 1580 and 1886, adding most of the ornamentations. The structure was bombed to a ruin by the Germans June 28, 1941 and the remains demolished by the Soviets in 1948. The current reconstruction was erected from 1995 to 1999.
House of the Blackheads, the original building was erected during the first third of the 14th century for the Brotherhood of Blackheads, a guild for unmarried German merchants in Riga. Major works were done in the years 1580 and 1886, adding most of the ornamentations.
The structure was bombed to a ruin by the Germans June 28, 1941 and the remains demolished by the Soviets in 1948. The current reconstruction was erected from 1995 to 1999.
Almost everywhere you walk in he the old city are its possible to see the tower of St Peters towering over the narrow streets. First mention of the St. Peter's Church is in records dating to 1209. The church was a masonry construction and therefore undamaged by a city fire in Riga that year. The history of the church can be divided into three distinct periods: two associated with Gothic and Romanesque building styles, the third with the early Baroque period. The middle section of the church was built during the 13th century, which encompasses the first period. The only remnants of this period are located in the outer nave walls and on the inside of a few pillars in the nave, around which larger pillars were later built.
Almost everywhere you walk in he the old city are its possible to see the tower of St Peters towering over the narrow streets. First mention of the St. Peter’s Church is in records dating to 1209. The church was a masonry construction and therefore undamaged by a city fire in Riga that year. The history of the church can be divided into three distinct periods: two associated with Gothic and Romanesque building styles, the third with the early Baroque period. The middle section of the church was built during the 13th century, which encompasses the first period. The only remnants of this period are located in the outer nave walls and on the inside of a few pillars in the nave, around which larger pillars were later built.
There are wooden houses all over Riga, dotted around between newer and larger stone and brick buildings. Each corner you turn there is a surprise waiting for you.
There are wooden houses all over Riga, dotted around between newer and larger stone and brick buildings. Each corner you turn there is a surprise waiting for you.
Another old wooden house. This time being used as a pub.
Another old wooden house. This time being used as a pub.
Being on the edge of the Baltic Sea the city was in a prime position for trade. As such is was often fought over and changed hands many times. At one point the city was fortified and surrounded by  a moat and walls. This is all that remains of the moat. I was told that beavers make their home here, but I didn't see any evidence of them.
Being on the edge of the Baltic Sea the city was in a prime position for trade. As such is was often fought over and changed hands many times. At one point the city was fortified and surrounded by a moat and walls. This is all that remains of the moat. I was told that beavers make their home here, but I didn’t see any evidence of them.
For some strange reason I feel compelled to take photographs of old doors when I travel, but rarely do anything with them so here are a few doors that took my fancy in a Riga.
For some strange reason I feel compelled to take photographs of old doors when I travel, but rarely do anything with them so here are a few doors that took my fancy in a Riga.
This small group of buildings caught my eye in the street where I was staying. Something about it reminds me of Cambridge.
This small group of buildings caught my eye in the street where I was staying. Something about it reminds me of Cambridge.
The Academy of Sciences edifice was built after World War II, between 1953 and 1956, collecting the necessary financing from the newly established kolkhozes in Latvia and - as further expenses increased, collecting the finances as
The Academy of Sciences edifice was built after World War II, between 1953 and 1956, collecting the necessary financing from the newly established kolkhozes in Latvia and – as further expenses increased, collecting the finances as “voluntary donations” deducted from the salaries of Latvian rural population. Building is decorated with several hammers and sickles as well as Latvian folk ornaments and motifs. It is known locally as the “Wedding Cake”.
The huge buildings are now part of the market complex,but were originally airship hangers from the First World War.
The huge buildings are now part of the market complex,but were originally airship hangers from the First World War.
One of the things I've noticed when travelling in the old communist countries is the amount of graffiti on the walls. Most of is is pointless signature tags, but occasionally there are some real gems that shout out at you as you walk along the streets.
One of the things I’ve noticed when travelling in the old communist countries is the amount of graffiti on the walls. Most of is is pointless signature tags, but occasionally there are some real gems that shout out at you as you walk along the streets.

So, what do I think of Riga? I like it! It is large enough to have everything, but small enough to feel personal, approachable and discoverable. Many larger cities retain their aloofness, almost a sense of you will never know me. But Riga is different. Having been fought over and occupied by so many powers over the years from Sweden, Poland, Germany and Russia there are many different faces to the streets. But these differences are what seems to connect it all into a whole. Yes, I like Riga. And I recommend you come here.

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