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Mezaparks is one of the most beautiful, greenest, and also one of the most prestigious neighbourhoods in Riga, as well as a popular recreation area.
After the Swedish king set up a military camp here in the 17th century, the area became known as Keninu mezs (the Forest of Kings). Later on, the name transformed into Kaiserwalrd (German for the King’s Forest). The neighbourhood acquired its present name (Forest Park in Latvian) only in 1923.
Residents of Keninu mezs
The earliest records of residents living in the area go back to the 14th century, when there were a number of small manors, farms and fishermen’s homes in the neighbourhood, who also sold their produce in Riga. The environs of Lake Kisezers, on the other hand, were a popular place with Riga residents in the summer.
The area was populated by farmers until halfway through the 19th century, when construction of summer houses began there, continuing into the 20th century. Several hundred villas were built in Mezaparks during that time.
The major cultural and recreational park Mezaparks opened in 1949. One of the few remaining forested areas in Riga became integral part of the park and gave it its identity.
- The Grand Stage of the Song Festival is located in Mezaparks, hosting one of the most important events in the cultural life of Latvia once every four years – the Song Festival. The Grand Stage is also a popular venue for concerts by local and foreign artists.
- Mezaparks Green Theatre hosts concerts and theatrical performances.
- The meadow at the Song Festival Stage is a popular place for large-scale public events, for instance, Easter celebrations, events opening the summer season, Healthy Lifestyle Day, Forest Day activities, and others.
- See 3D pavement art. When looked at from a certain angle, the drawings seem spatial and “alive”.
- See the exhibition Meet the Tree! that informs about the forestry industry in Latvia and the various uses of wood.
- Enjoy a longer or shorter walk in the park
- Go rollerblading along the park’s asphalted trails
- Take a bicycle ride through the cycling lanes of the park or jump on a mountain bike to ride a forest path
- Get your adrenaline fix at the BMX track
- Take your children to one of the playgrounds, suited for children of different ages
- See how good you are at disc golf and mini golf, challenge your friends or family members to a competition
- Overcome obstacles and experience unforgettable emotions at the Mezakakis adventure park, taking one out of several routes of varying difficulty
- Try stand-up paddleboarding
- Get into shape at one of the outdoor gyms, running or Nordic walking in the forest and paths of the park
- Enjoy the winter at two Nordic skiing tracks, ice rink, and Riga’s first Alpine skiing and snowboarding track!
Everything you need for outdoor recreation is available for rent in the park.
Recreation in nature
- Have a picnic at one of the picnicking areas on the shores of Lake Kisezers
- Sunbathe on Mezaparks Beach, have a dinner at the beach café, and go for a swim in Lake Kisezers
- Visit Newlywed’s Hill – the Rhododendron Garden
- Go angling at Lake Kisezers
Situated next to the recreation park at Lake Kisezers, there is one of the most popular recreation places with city dwellers – the Riga Zoo, a true friend of nature with traditions spanning several centuries, which offers modern-day opportunities for exploring nature all year round, all the while enjoying the experience. The zoo presents captivating insight into the diversity of living nature, and features exciting guided tours.