18 Fascinating Riga Facts that You Should Know

Hi there……I am about to take you to a FACT-pedition to Riga, the fascinating capital city of Latvia!

From its captivating natural landscapes to its stunning architecture, it offers fascinating facts for you to discover😲.

This article will offer some surprising facts about the beautiful city of Riga that will leave you amazed. 

Let’s start this exciting😃 journey!

Interesting Facts about Riga

Riga City: Located on both banks of the Daugava River

Daugava River in Riga

Little fact enthusiasts, what about a ‘geographical fact’ about the beautiful city of Riga as a starter?

Riga City is located on both banks of the Daugava River, which separates the city into two parts, called Vecriga and Pardaugava.

The beautiful Latvian city is located around 29 ft above sea level, and it is a sandy and flat plain. 

The total land area of the city is around 117 square miles, which is around three times the size of England’s Bristol. Surprising, right?

It is also the largest city among all Baltic cities.

Riga City: It has beautiful garden walks

I am quite amazed to unravel this beautiful secret about this amazing capital city of Latvia! 

While visiting Riga, people like us want to visit Vermanes Garden. It is a beautiful park that stretches to 12 acres within the city. This makes it a popular place for locals to unwind, relax, and even recharge. 

Boasting numerous stunning and rare trees, plants🌲, and bushes, along with many attractive sculptures and statues, Vermanes Garden is definitely a must-see place for us, isn’t it??

Riga City: It was a part of the Russian Empire

Riga In Russian Empire

Little fact lovers, did you know this interesting secret about Riga City? No?? Let me tell you!

Beautiful Riga, the modern capital city of Latvia, was a part of the Russian Empire👑 for a long time. 

It was the time when the USSR was one of the most important and largest ports.

Also, in the year 2014, Riga City entered the center of European capitals of culture.

The city of Riga: It is home to the famous Town Hall Square

Riga is home to the iconic town hall square. It has been a meeting place since the late 13th century. 

Here, one can see the best form of Riga’s Hanseatic architecture🏰, culminating in the well-known House of Blackheads built in the 14th century. 

However, it was named like that because, in the 17th century, its occupants were the Brotherhood of Blackheads merchants. 

Unfortunately, it was destroyed during WW II, but it has been rebuilt and stood since 1999. Moreover, this square is home to a notable venue of contemporary art and too many cafes and bars🍷.

Riga City: The mesmerizing beauty of Saint Peter’s Church 

Saint Peter’s Church In Riga

I am really surprised to learn this interesting secret about Riga! 

This famous Lutheran Church ⛪is Riga’s one of the oldest monuments. However, now it looks completely different from its original appearance. 

What we can see today is, for the most part, from the 15th and 17th centuries.  

The 123-meter steeple of the church is unmissable. From there, we can enjoy the breathtaking view of the Daugava River and the Old Town.

Moreover, the three basilicas in its interior offer a fascinating insight into Riga’s history. The church even holds some temporary exhibitions of works by local artists. 

The Bishop of Bremen: The founder of the city 

Have you heard about the founder of Riga City!? No? Let me explain!

The founder of this amazing city is the Bishop of Bremen. In addition, all those settlers who went to explore these faraway lands at that time were officially granted indulgences by the church; that is, all their sins were forgiven.

Also, Riga’s sister cities are the capitals of other countries, such as Beijing, Minsk, and Moscow.

Enjoy the medieval streets and the Swedish Gate

Medieval Streets In Riga

Many people, even foreigners, here love to walk along the largest remaining part of the medieval town walks. 

They also like to walk through the Swedish Gate of the 17th century. I am quite surprised to know that the Swedish Gate is the only remaining entryway to Old Riga. 

It got its name from the fact that back then, Riga was a vital part of the Swedish Empire. 

The narrowest and oldest streets in Riga, dating back from between the 13th and 14th century, sprawl beyond it, full of sound from the lively cafes and bars.

Know the origin of the city’s name

Just like me, you will be surprised to explore that there are multiple speculative theories for the origin of the name of Riga City! 

Some says it is an adapted borrowing from the Livonian ringa, 😲which means loop. This refers to the ancient natural harbor created by the tributary loop of the Daugava River.

Others say that it could be derived from the term Riege, the German name of the River Ridzene 🌊, River Daugava’s former tributary. Surprising, isn’t it?

The city of Riga: It was a center of the Viking trade

The Daugava River In Riga

The Daugava River has been a trade route since antiquity, part of the Dvina Dnieper navigation route to Byzantium of the Vikings’. 

There was even a sheltered natural harbor 9.3 miles upriver from Daugava River’s mouth, the site of modern-day Riga has been recorded as Duna Urbs.

During the early Middle Ages, the city started to develop as a center of Viking trade. 

The residents of Riga occupied themselves mainly with animal husbandry, fishing🐟, and trading, later developing crafts in wood, bone, iron, and amber.

Riga: Know about the climate of the city

The climate of Riga City is mainly humid continental. 

Here, the coldest months are January and February, when minus 2.1 degrees Celsius becomes the average temperature. 

However, temperatures like minus 20 to minus 25 degrees Celsius can be seen around every year on the coldest days.

Moreover, the proximity of the sea results in frequent fog and rain☔. Sometimes, continuous snow cover can last for eighty days. 

The summers in Riga are rainy and mild, with an average temperature of 18 degrees Celsius.

Economy: The little facts!

Riga Port

A fan of economics?? 

Then you will surely love this secret about Riga! 

Riga is one of the vital financial 💰and economic centers of the Baltic states. 

Around half of all jobs in the country are in Riga. Also, the city generates over 50% of the country’s GDP, along with around half of the exports of Latvia.

Here, some of the biggest exporters are in IT, wood, food and beverage manufacturing, transport, pharmaceuticals, and metallurgy. 

Also, the Riga Port is one of the largest ports in the Baltics, handled a record of around 34 million tons of cargo in 2011.

The famous radio and TV tower 

The radio and TV tower of Riga is Latvia’s tallest structure. In addition to this, it is even one of the tallest structures 🌆 in the Baltic States as well as in the European Union. It reaches a height of around 1209 ft. 

Also, Riga center has several notable examples of Gothic revival architecture, like the Kalpaka Boulevard Library and many more.

Cuisine in Riga: Explore the delicious taste of the city

Cuisine In Riga

If you are a big fan of soft bread then just enjoy this delicious secret about this amazing Latvian city! 

Here, people love to enjoy Dark Rye Bread, which is a quintessential and delicious 🤤food in Riga. 

It is flavorful and rich, as well as chewy and soft. People like us often get a basket of bread 🍞with a meal, mainly with some smooth herb butter added.

This mouth-watering Rye bread even makes a perfect bar snack, and is usually served in chunks, lightly fried, and accompanied with a thick garlic dip. So delicious!! 

The Riga Castle: Unravel the mysteries 

The city’s Riga Castle is a vital 14th-century Latvian building that has been destroyed and rebuilt throughout the centuries. 

Today, it is home to not only the famous National History Museum🏫, but also to the offices and residence of the President. 

Due to this, much of it is off-limits, and hence, tourists cannot explore it fully. 

The museum is full of significant artifacts from the history of Latvia, including costumes and coins. However, this monument was damaged in 2013 in a fire, so some parts of it are still undergoing renovation.

The three buildings in Maza Pils Street: The three brothers of Riga

Three Buildings of Riga

Here you can meet ‘The Three Brothers’, which is the nickname given to Maza Pils Street’s three buildings. 

Though much is not known about their history, each building illustrates mainly a different period of the architectural development of the city.

Maza Pils Street is the oldest one, which was built in the 17th century, and it has crow-stepped gables and Renaissance and Gothic elements. 

The second one, 19 Maza Pils shows Dutch Mannerist influence, and the third one, house umber 21, displays the Baroque architecture of the 17th century. 

Government of Riga: A bit of inner-view

The head of the city is the mayor or the Chairman of the Riga City Council. 

He is assisted by his Vice mayors or deputy mayors. 

The city council is an institution that is elected democratically and is also the final decision-making authority of Riga City.

Night life in Riga

Night Life In Riga

Want to know about the nightlife 🌃 in Riga?

This beautiful Latvian city, known as Riga, is an increasingly popular part destination, combining all the fun of Western European cities at affordable prices.

 Here, the nightlife is centered in the Old Town, where also most hotels are located. 

There is almost everything hiding in the city after dusk, from big mainstream clubs to cozy, quiet bars to some important cultural centers. 

Religion in Riga: It has temples of five different religions

Riga is the city in the entire continent where temples of five different religions function successfully.

Also, in the year 1510, here the first Christmas tree in the world was installed. Oh, my god😲! Truly amazing!

Summing up

So, little knowledge hunters, now you know that beautiful Riga is a Latvian city that proudly celebrates its stunning natural beauty, mesmerizing monuments, 😲strong economy, and delicious cuisine. 

From amazing museums and the Town Hall Square to delicious Dark Rye Bread, what in Riga City attracts you the most?

As we are already together in this exciting journey, we would love to know your feedback.

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