Exploring Riga

Like Warsaw, Riga (Latvia's capital) is a place we'd never really considered visiting, but we're so glad we did. It's a beautiful city rich with history.

During World War II, Riga was occupied by the Soviet Union then Nazi Germany. The Nazis relocated Riga's Jewish residents to the ghetto, and most of Latvia's Jews (around 24,000) were killed in the Rumbula Massacre in 1941. Many of the historical buildings in Riga were damaged by bombings. The House of the Blackheads (below), originally built in 1334, was completely destroyed in World War II then rebuilt in 1999.

Below is a photo of 'The Three Brothers' - the building on the right was built in the 15th century, the one in the middle in the 16th century and the one on the left in the 17th century.

Riga is the city with the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture in the world - it makes up about a third of all buildings in the centre.

We only had an afternoon and evening in Riga so we didn't get a chance to look around everything, but there was so much to see within a fairly small area. I loved the views looking down the colourful streets...

Below - Riga Castle, a medieval castle which is now the residence of the president of Latvia.

There was an installation in the square that featured a giant bear from each country of the world!

We wandered back to the van just after sunset. Not a bad way to spend a day!