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SIGHTS


THE KGB BUILDING houses an exhibit about KGB opera- tions from 1940-1991. Visi- tors can buy tickets for guided tours of the KGB cellars, as well as visit the main exhibition hall for free.


Venue: 61 Brîvîbas iela. Further info: http://okupacijasmuzejs.lv


Museum of Decorative and Applied Art. ST. JACOB’S CHURCH 2 Klostera iela. St. Jacob’s is one of the oldest churches in Riga, refer- ences date back to 1225. At that time it was a church for the subur- ban residents. After the religious Reformation in the early 16th


cen-


tury it became Lutheran in 1522, in 1582 it was given to the Catholic Order of Jesuits, in the 17th


century


it belonged to the Swedish garrison and in 1922 the church was turned over to the Catholic community. Now it is Roman-Catholic. ST. JOHN’S CHURCH 24 Skårñu iela. St. John’s church was built in the Dominican monastery after 1234, first intended as a chapel. After expulsion of the Dominicans in the period of Reformation, the building was privately owned—it was used as a furniture workshop and later as a weapon arsenal. In 1582 it be- came a part of the Latvian parish. In 1587-89 the eastern part of the altar was added. In the 15th


century


two monks were immured here of their own free will. Only a small win- dow in the wall to pass them food and drinks was left. The spot where the monks were walled up, and subsequently buried, can be easily seen today, marked by a cruciform barred aperture in the wall. ST. PETER’S CHURCH 19 Skårñu iela. The St. Peter’s church was men- tioned for the first time in the year 1209. The church is one of the best examples of Gothic architec- ture in the Baltics, meant to be the main church of the town. The church tower seemed to be jinxed,


www.rigathisweek.lv/sights


it was burned down and rebuilt many times through the centuries. It first collapsed in 1666 and the last destruction it suffered was on St. Peter’s Day in 1941. In 1973 the tower was restored for the last time. From the observation platform of the tower you can enjoy a wonderful eagle’s-eye view of Riga. RIGA CASTLE 3 Pils laukums. The first castle built by the Order of the Sword Brothers around 1209 and originally named Wit- tenstein Castle (“made of white stone”). The castle was destroyed by townsfolk in the civil war. Towns- people built a new castle for the Li- vonian Order at the site of the Holy Spirit hospital under the condition of dismantling part of the town’s fortification wall and opening the town from the castle’s side. The tower of the Holy Spirit and a frag- ment of the fortification wall were added to the castle that was built under the supervision of Master D. Kriege in 1330-1353. In 1484 the citizens destroyed this building as well, but this time they were forced to rebuild it and the reconstruction was completed by 1515. In the 18th century several wings were added and the castle was used as a public building by Polish and Swedish of- ficials. Now the castle is the presi- dent’s residence. SWEDISH GATE 11 Torñu iela. The Swedish Gate was added to the city’s old fortification wall in 1698 to celebrate the Scandinavian occupa- tion of Riga. At the time the city’s executioner resided in the apart- ment above the gate. An exceed- ingly romantic and considerate fellow, he placed a red rose in his window the night before a good execution, duly notifying the sick and the curious public of the pending sordid act—thoughtful, eh? A frag- ment of the fortification wall has been restored nearby on Torñu street. THREE BROTHERS 17, 19, 21 Mazå Pils iela. The ‘Three Brothers’ are the best examples of residential buildings of


29


πRodion Shehovtsov


πAnja Coppieters


πAnja Coppieters


πRodion Shehovtsov


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