Riga Castle

Riga, Latvia

Riga Castle (Rīgas pils) is a castle on the banks of River Daugava. The castle was founded in 1330. This structure was thoroughly rebuilt between 1497 and 1515. Upon the castle's seizure by the Swedes, they constructed spacious annexes in 1641. The fortress was continually augmented and reconstructed between the 17th and 19th centuries. Sometime in the 1930s, some renovation work was done by architect Eižens Laube. The Latvian government declared the castle its residence in 1938. Today it is the official residence of the President of Latvia as well as home to several museums.

The castle was built on the basis of a treaty between Riga and the Livonian Order - in 13th century Rigans had rebelled against the Order and demolished its original castle in center of the town. Due to constant fights with Rigans the Order chose to rather build a new castle behind borders of the town, than rebuild the original castle. The site occupied by Convent of the Saint Spirit - a hospital and shelter for the poor - was chosen and the convent moved to location of the original castle. The castle served as residence of Master of the Livonian Order, but due to continuous conflicts with Rigans the residence was moved to Castle of Cēsis sometime before the castle was destroyed by Rigans in 1484. The Rigans eventually lost the fight and were forced to rebuild the castle - the restoration was finished in 1515. After the Union of Wilno order cased to exist in 1561 the Castle became Lithuanian and in 1569 - Polish-Lithuanian stronghold. In 1621. Riga came under Swedish rule and the Castle was used to house Swedish administration.

After the city came under Russian rule in early 18th century, the castle housed administration and courts of Riga Governorate and served as residence of Governors General. In 1922 the castle became residence of the President of Latvia. After Soviet occupation the castle housed Council of People Commissars of Latvian SSR in 1940-1941. In 1941 Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union moved into northern part of the castle, which therefore became known as the Pioneer Castle. Several museums are housed in the southern part of the castle. After Independence of Latvia was restored the northern part of the Castle again became the residence of President of Latvia.

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Address

Daugavas gāte, Riga, Latvia
See all sites in Riga

Details

Founded: 1497-1515
Category: Castles and fortifications in Latvia
Historical period: State of the Teutonic Order (Latvia)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Iñigo Calonge (5 years ago)
Nice castle in the middle of the city
Ftck Zmt (6 years ago)
Got in nice, big fighting here with waiter. Had to take shower later. Good thing I was staying at Ridzene, where they actually have showers.
Artur Cholascinski (6 years ago)
Interesting place. It was especially interesting during 100th anniversary of WWI end. Lots of people and lots of candles for all victims. For me it was additionaly superb as they hoisted Polish flag along with Latvian, to commemorate 100th anniversary of Polish independence. Thank you!
Fatima Johnston (6 years ago)
Beautiful place. Will recommend a visit .
Jose Pablo Munoz Urrutia (6 years ago)
Beautiful views of the city and excellent picture opportunity there, please also make some time for a nice beer in one of the many bars in the area... They have a great selection ready for you
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