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Latvia > Pictures and travelogues > Pictures from Riga

Pictures from Riga, Capital City of Latvia: the Old City (Vecrīga), the river Daugava, and the Vanšu Bridge.  

Old Riga (Vecrīga) in Latvia
Town Hall Square in Old Riga (Vecrīga) in winter, Latvia.
Riga Cathedral (on the left-hand side) and House of the Blackheads (on the right-hand side).

Old Riga, locally known as Vecrīga, is the historical center of Riga. It is situated on the right bank of the Daugava. Old Riga covers a relatively small inner area of the 13th-18th century fortifications. It includes the Cathedral of Riga, St. Peter’s Church, Riga Castle, the House of the Blackheads, and many other historical buildings. 

Riga was a major center of the Hanseatic League, deriving its prosperity in the 13th–15th centuries from the trade with Central and Eastern Europe. It became an important economic center in the 19th century when the suburbs expanded very rapidly. Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) reached Riga via Finland at the very end of the 19th century. The city has one of the finest collections of Art Nouveau buildings in Europe.

The Town Hall Square in Riga has been completely re-built, since the square and its historic buildings were destroyed during the World War II. However, the historic center of Riga has retained its medieval and later urban fabric largely intact. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage list (UNESCO).

Riga at night in Latvia
Riga and Daugava River at night in Latvia.

The spires of the Old Riga Churches (St Jacob’s Church, St. Peter’s Church, and Riga Cathedral) mirroring in the Daugava River.

With about 700,000 inhabitants, Riga is t
he capital and largest city of Latvia.


Riga Vanšu Bridge
The Vanšu Bridge and Sunstone skyscraper in Riga, Latvia.

The Vanšu Bridge is a 595 meter-long cable bridge that crosses the Daugava River in Riga. It was opened in July 1981. Four other bridges cross the Daugava in the city.

On the right-hand side of the picture, you see the 123 meter-high Sunstone skyscraper ("Saules akmens"): it is the second highest building in the Baltic States. It hosts the Latvian headquarter of Swedbank AB, a Nordic-Baltic banking group. You can take the Vanšu Bridge also to go to Riga Castle, which is the residence of the current President of Latvia.


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Pictures from Riga, Latvia: the Old City (Vecrîga), the river Daugava, and the Vanðu Bridge. Images from Latvia, Travel directory and travel guide to Latvia.