Riga Old Town

Riga, Latvia

Riga Old Town (Vecrīga) is the historical center of Riga, Latvia, located on the east side of Daugava River. Vecrīga is famous for its old churches and cathedrals, such as Riga Cathedral and St. Peter's church.

Vecrīga is the original area of Riga and consists of the historic city limits before the city was greatly expanded over the years. In the old days, Vecrīga was protected by a surrounding wall except the side adjacent to the Daugava river bank. When the wall was torn down, the waters from Daugava filled the space creating Riga City Canal.

In the 1980s Vecrīga's streets were closed to traffic and only area residents and local delivery vehicles are allowed within Vecrīga's limits with special permits. Vecrīga is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site listed as "Historic Centre of Riga".

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Address

Kungu iela, Riga, Latvia
See all sites in Riga

Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Historic city squares, old towns and villages in Latvia
Historical period: German Crusades (Latvia)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Maksims Svežencevs (11 months ago)
5 stars for 5 stars. Great place to stay. Location is close to perfect, only parking issues(additional expenses) are dragging location slightly down. However there is plenty opportunities to rent a car, scooter or electric bike arround old town of Riga by simply downloading the app and you ready to go, so no parking is needed whatsoever. Bed is huge and super comfortable, providing two type of pillows is awesome idea. Side sofa is also comfortable for short rests while reading. Air conditioner is working well and room was kept cool. Room was also kept clean all times and water bottles provided. Food is great here in general, my misses is enjoying every time we go there ..and we been places and have had lots of other experiences too. So this place holds the standards high. Restaurant is offering wide range of drinks. Gym, there is not many people using it, so I've had it for myself nearly every time I went there. Still planning to visit sound and swimming pool, but weather is too good to stay in. Overall our stay was perfect three more days to go.
Andreas Adamsen (11 months ago)
Great place to stay for a short trip to Riga! We spent four nights at Pullman and everything was as you would expect. For a hotel with this level of quality we thought that the price was quite cheap. Service at check-in and check-out was great. The room was spacious, air-conditioned, with a very spacious shower, and included complimentary still water as well as coffee and tea. We also made use of both the swimmingpool and the fitness and both were very nice facilities. Pullman is highly recommended if you're spending a small handful of days in Riga!
Timo Uustal (11 months ago)
Lovely hotel in Riga Old Town. It actually is put together from different buildings next to each other, having both historical charm and modern conveniences. For Old Town area hotel, rooms are spacious, with comfy beds and fast wifi. There are a few deluxe rooms with huge balconies as well, suitable for smaller gatherings. Try out cool in-house cocktails and enjoy mouthwatering breakfast buffet - including smoothies and freshly made orange juice. Hotel doesn't have private parking, but there's paid public parking space behind the hotel. Would be delighted to return.
Kristiina Meentalo (11 months ago)
Just Love the quality and choice of amenities. It's amazing that you can choose a type of pillow by your own. Was sleeping like a baby ♥️
Dirk-Jan Palland (12 months ago)
We travel to Riga a few times per year and this was our first stay in this hotel. We try a different 4-5 star hotel every trip, but this is one of our favorites. The room was nice, clean and modern. Only weird thing is the light switches, it’s a puzzle to turn them all off. Like most Latvian hotels, it is not really 5 stars, if you compare it to other western European countries 5 star hotels. The rooms are too simple for that, however, compared to other hotels in Riga this is really one of our new favorites! We also had a great deal for 38eu for 1 night stay. Service was friendly, location is great and public parking is super close and super cheap (only 15eu per 24h, this is 2 hours worth of parking in Amsterdam). We did not try the breakfast.
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Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.

In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.