Aug 23

THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT CITIES IN LATVIA (LATVIJA)

Are you planning to visit Latvia, the beautiful ex-Soviet republic on the Baltic Sea? Then you must know a few things about the three most important cities of this country: Riga, Liepaja and Daugavpils.

Riga is the capital and also the largest city in Latvia, located at the egress of the Daugava River. It has a population of about 700,000 inhabitants and is the largest city of the Baltic region. From a cultural standpoint, the city is known for its Jugend architectural style – a typical German Art Nouveau sub-genre. Its history dates from the Viking invasion, from the Middle Ages, when it began to develop as a fishing and trade center.

The city structure includes several old churches, the famous Riga Castle and the Television and Radio Tower in Riga, the third largest tower in Europe! It is also a cultural center, where there are several museums such as the Museum of Engineering, the Outdoor Museum, the Opera, Circus and almost any other objective of this kind. The city is located on both sides of the river. Its main neighborhoods are Agenskalns, located on the left bank, which was built mostly in the 19th and 20th centuries and here you can find several museums; Tornakalns with many villas and gardens, and if you are interested in Soviet architecture, you can go in Purvciems, the Russian neighborhood.

Daugavpils is the second largest city in Latvia, located on the Daugava River as well. It has a population of 104,000 inhabitants. It is approximately 120 kilometers from the border with Russia and almost half of its population is Russian. The city is an important railway junction and an industrial center that contrasts with many lakes and parks surrounding it. It used to belong to Poland and then to the Russian Empire until 1920. It is also an educational center with art and technical universities. Outside the city, the newly built airport is welcoming the visitors who are eager to find out more about its history, culture, architecture and people.

Liepaja is a city located in the western part of Latvia, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, being a port with a population of 85.000 inhabitants. Do not go there if you have a problem with the wind, because the area is famous for its sea breezes. Therefore, it is near the largest wind plant in Latvia. This city was a major port during imperial Russia, and a very popular resort. Here you will admire various architectural styles such as houses, Jugend (Art Nouveau) buildings in Soviet style and some green spaces and expanses of water. There are a few churches. Tourists often go in the park by the seaside for its sandy and immaculate beaches. Transport network includes buses and a tram railroad.

This is a general depiction, but every street corner and every building is full of legends and beautiful surprises, so come visit!

Photo source:

Picture 1: expedia.co.uk; Picture 2: expedia.co.uk; Picture 3: 2015.lvrally.com; Picture 4: bestourism.com; Picture 5: fgb.by; Picture 6: campusluccastudenti.it; Picture 7: grandpalaceriga.com
May 19

Gauja Nationa Park- natural, cultural and historical treasure of Latvia

Gauja, Latvia www.traildino.comLatvia invites you to discover a unique location by its natural, cultural and historical diversity- The Gauja National Park. It is known that the park is dating from 1973 and it has more than 90.000 hectares of green beauty. For a full experience reserve yourself more than one day to go about and explore.

A major interest should be given to the caves in the area: Guatmanala, a very large cave, Kalejala, impressive by its length, Liela Ellite or Velnala. For hiking The Ligatne Nature Trails is highly recommended because it offers the opportunity to observe wildlife, animals in their natural habitat, and excellent spots for bird watching. For impressive views there are the cliffs and the sandstone outcrops. The beautiful colors of the outcrops can vary from red to yellow and gray. The red cliffs are maybe the most picturesque and can be seen on the banks of the Ligatne River, the Lustuzis Ridge and Anafabrika Cliffs. It has been discovered that most of them formed 350-370 million years ago.

The Gauja National Park is also a source of inspiration culturally and historically. A trip in the area is like going in a personal and cultural quest. There are three towns (Sigulda, Cesis, Straupe), six Medieval castles and nineteen ancient castles to be admired and discovered along the way.  If you want to get in the atmosphere of medieval times, you can enjoy a day in Cesis Old Town. A unique feeling you will experience as well if you decide to take a tour of the Turida Museum Reserve, Ungurmuiza Manor, Ligatne Paper Mill or Araisi Lake Castle.

Those in search of high adrenaline experiences will not be disappointed. Rides down the Sigulda Luge and Bobsleigh Track are organized all year round. If bungee jumping is your thing, then you should try the cable car in Sigulda. It is suspended above the Gauja River at a height of 43 meters. Here is also the highest climbing tower in Europe, at Vells.

Taking a boat down the Gauja River opens up new perspectives on the outcrops in the valley. Boating is safe here from May to October. There is also the option of camping over night on one of the shores for a good night rest. Springtime floods are changing the dynamic of the river and many adventurous people are happy to go boating on the Ligatne and Amata rivers at that time.

Cycling is really favored here. Tourists can go cycling from May to September. Many biking paths near Sigulda like Ramkalni, Apalkalna or Ezu are the delight of those who love this sport.

If you decide to visit in winter then you might be looking for a skiing experience. Tracks like Kordes, Pilsetas, Reina, Zagarkalns are great to try your skiing skills and these are just a few of them.

Having so many entertainment options in a National Park makes a tourist feel like a kid in a candy store: happy and willing to try them all.

Photo source

www.traildino.com

May 16

Riga- art, sport and Rupjmaize in Latvia

71588722_riga_panorama_www.latvia.travelMore than 800 years old, the city of Riga is the gemstone of Latvia and its capital. Located on the south coast of the Gulf of Riga, the city is close to the River Daugava. Riga is considered one of the largest cities in the Baltic States and has a population of 700.000 people.

Dating from ancient times, the city it is a mix of architectural history, old and modern. You can see coexisting in beautiful harmony churches built back in the days along with medieval buildings in the Old Town and great Art Nouveau architecture.

Riga is impressive by its cultural agenda. One of the places that worth visiting is Latvian National Opera. Here you can see performing artists from different corners of the world. Attending to classical and popular concerts it is another way of enjoying this cultural place.

The gastronomy in Riga is an enchanting adventure that takes you through a variety of tastes. The Latvian cuisine it is a fusion of flavors. Here people love consuming raw and smoke fish, wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, potatoes and pork. The dishes are of rustic inspiration with a modern kick to them. When you visit Riga make sure to taste Rupjmaize, the national symbol; the dark bread made of rye is one of the Latvian specialties.

In Riga, tourists can join running the marathons, take part in orienting expeditions in the forest or enjoy different competitions during summer. Jogging or skiing is always an alternative in Riga. Kayaking is an aquatic sport that is very popular in Latvia.

If you are on the look for a relaxing day in Riga, you should go ahead and try the wellness centers that offer spa treatments, from massaging to cosmetic procedures. Don’t miss the special ritual of taking a Latvian bath.

Getting lost on the narrow streets in Riga is part of the charm of the city. While you are there exploring by foot you can buy at reasonable prices beautiful handmade souvenirs or you can visit the art galleries.

For those looking for the perfect Eastern European location for their business conference, international meetings or multicultural exhibitions, Riga is definitely the city that offers the perfect infrastructure for this.

If you decide you cannot live without being connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms, you don’t have to worry about bad service on Internet here. In 2014, Riga has been declared the capital of free WiFi. No matter where you are, in your hotel, getting from one place to another in a cab or just having brunch in a nice café, you can communicate and navigate on Internet for free.

Photo source

www.latvia.travel

 

May 03

RIGA – THE GREATEST DISPLAY OF ART NOUVEAU EDIFFICES IN EUROPE

The largest Baltic city – and most say it’s also the most beautiful – the capital of Latvia is an extremely important economic and strategic spot of the region. Riga rises 10 meters above sea level and is situated in the homonym gulf, where the Daugava River, which separates the city in two, flows in the Baltic Sea.

http://kingtours.co.uk/

http://kingtours.co.uk/

Riga is one of the cities which combine old and new in equal proportions and it’s said that, for each old building, there is a new one. Unlike most capitals and important European cities that have an Old Center, Riga has a New Center, as well, which is filled with countless historical monuments of flamboyant architecture, while the old center hosts the cultural institutions, amusement parks and most clubs and restaurants in Riga. You will also encounter many cafes, pubs, pizzerias, and places of leisure.

It was attested as an urban settlement in 1201, and ever since, Riga becomes the theater of many historical ups and downs marking the city’s history, at the confluence of the Russian Empire and the neighboring Northern cultures.

www.liveriga.com

www.liveriga.com

Historical manuscripts mention its existence since the 10th century b.C., but it was founded as an urban settlement in 1201.

Many tourists arrive here every year in order to enjoy the beauty of the Art Nouveau architecture, blending with the more somber Gothic style, and admire the superb parks, gardens and squares.

http://www.thousandwonders.net/

http://www.thousandwonders.net/

Life in Riga is very vivid through its cultural events, sports (gulf, carting, skiing, water sports, pool and bowling) and also cruising the Northern Sea.

Regardless of the season, the capital of Latvia always has a lot of things to offer: winter sports, desert camping in the dunes nearby or enjoying time on its beautiful beaches, your experience will definitely be unforgettable.

http://www.smarttravel.ee/

http://www.smarttravel.ee/

Some of the most staggering visiting spots are: the City Square – ironically in the shape of a perfect square, dating from the 19th century -, the Lutheran Cathedral of Riga – a beautiful piece of architectural jewelry dating from 1211 -, the Riga Castle – probably the most visited spot of the city and the nativity of Christ Orthodox Church – a grandiose edifice in the shape of a sailing boat.

http://laaj.org.au/

http://laaj.org.au/

Seems that Riga bears the pattern of the Northern life style: rather solemn on the outside, but warm and boisterous to its core, and has a lot of pleasant surprises to offer the visitors, once they decide to discover its secret charm.

 

Thank you for the Image to:  http://www.thousandwonders.net/Riga