On display in an exhibition in Svētā Pētera Evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca (St Peter’s Church) was the oil on canvas painting by the Latvian painter and interior designer Alvis Zemzaris. Created in 2009, the painting is called Londona (London) and the artist stated that “London itself has captured my heart by its beauty and confidence.”
Located on Jēkaba Iela (Jacob Street) is a pyramidal memorial which was unveiled in 2007 by the State President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. The monument is dedicated to those who lost their lives during the confrontations, known as The Barricades, between Latvian and Soviet Union forces in 1991. The inscription details wording from a Latvian folk song.
Located on Aspazijas Bulvāris next to the city canal is the Latvijas Nacionālā Opera – Latvian National Opera House. Built between 1860-1863, the building was the design of the Russian architect Ludwig Bohnstedt. Originally called the German Theatre of Riga, the building is known locally as the White House.
The Neo-Classical entrance facade is dominated by six Ionic columns which support the pedimented portico. Sculpted figures of the Greek god Apollo adorn the tympanum with two female figures separated by a lyre ornamenting the roof. The central part of the building features hanging arches around the exterior. In 1887, the first power station in Riga was established in the annex of the building.
Located in Rātslaukums (Town Hall Square) is Melngalvju Nams – The Blackheads House. First recorded in 1334, the house was built as a meeting place for festivities and for various public organizations. Rebuilt in 1522, the building during the 17th century became the home of the German merchants association known as the Blackheads Company.
The building, along with many others in the square, was demolished during World War II. Following archaeological excavations in 1992, reconstruction of the building began in 1995 on the site of the former house. Completed in 1999, the building now holds concerts, exhibitions and is home to a museum. An eclectic mix of architectural styles, the facade features Dutch Renaissance detailing, recessed brick gothic arches and is richly adorned with allegorical sculptures and armorial shields. The inscription engraved onto the walls of the building translates “Should I ever crumble to dust, rebuild my walls you must.”
Located on Riga Pils is Sapju Dievmates Katolu Baznica – Our Lady of Sorrows Church. Constructed in 1781-1785, the church was the first in Riga to be constructed from stone. The church was dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows as a symbol to the oppressed Catholic religion in Terra Mariana during the Reformation of medieval Livonia.
Between 1858-1860, part of the church was rebuilt to designs by the Latvian architect Johann Felsko who added a new sacristy and made alterations to the main facade. The building is decorated in blue and white and features corner piers, belfry and an octagonal spire.
Located on Skārņu Street outside Sv Petera Baznica (St Peter’s Church) is a monument presented to the city of Riga from Bremen. The political sculptures are the work of Bremen artist Krista Baumgaertel and are based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. The bronze sculptures were unveiled in 1990 and feature a donkey, a dog, a cat and a cockerel standing upon one another.
Maris-Rudolf Eduardovich Liepa was a Latvian ballet dancer who for more than 20 years performed with the internationally renowned Bolshoi classical ballet company based in Moscow. Located near to the Latvijas Nacionālā Opera (National Opera House) is a sculpture in dedication to the dancer who died in 1989. The monument was unveiled in 2013 and is the work of the Estonian artists Jaan Tomiks and Jiri Tomiks Ojavers.
To mark the 700th anniversary of Riga in 1901, the mayor of Riga George Armitsteds organized several garden parties in the city. Part of the celebrations included the construction of Kergalvja Lapene – Kergalvja Pavillion or Gazebo which was erected in Kronvalda Park. Designed and built by the Latvian master craftsman Krišjānis Ķergalvis, the Pavillion features a pedimented arched entrance on each side with engaged corinthian brick pilasters on plinths. The Pavillion is surmounted by an octagonal roof with leaded dome.
In the historic centre of Riga on Brīvības Bulvāris is the Brīvības Piemineklis – Freedom Monument. The colossal monument is symbolic of Latvia’s struggle for independence and freedom with several stages each representing significant figures and events during the history of Latvia.
The granite monument stands 42.5 metres high and is the work of the Latvian sculptor Kārlis Zāle. Financed entirely from public donations, the monument was unveiled in November 1935 with construction lasting four years.
Striving for freedom is represented with the ‘Chain Breakers’ attempting to break free.
The front of the monument features travertine reliefs of Latvian Riflemen symbolising the Russian Revolution and Latvian War of Independence.
The monument features a woman in copper above the marble obelisk. The three golden stars the woman holds represent the historic regions Kurzeme, Vidzeme, and Latgale.
Next to Okupācijas Muzejs in Rātslaukums (Town Square) is the Monument to the Latvian Red Riflemen. The monument is dedicated to the Riflemen who guarded the Russian communist Vladimir Ilyich Lenin during the Russian Revolution.
The red granite monument is the work of the Latvian Sculptor Valdis Albergs and was unveiled in 1971.
The inscription on the base of the plinth translates “For the Latvian Red Riflemen 1915-1920.”