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The building which housed the KGB or Committee for State Security Headquarters in Riga during the Soviet period has opened for the general public as a feature of Riga’s year as the European Capital of Culture.

KGB House
  • KGB House

The building at the intersection of Brīvības Street and Stabu Street used to go by the name of Stūra māja (corner house) – obviously because of its location, as well as for a long history of putting many people in a very tight corner indeed.

The KGB was a particularly repressive authority that the Bolsheviks established soon after coming to power in Russia in 1917. They set up the Emergency Commission, or Cheka, to seek and eliminate opponents of Bolshevism. Since then, Cheka and KGB were the terms used to denote the entire oppressive Soviet system, regardless of the name changes the authority went through.

The KGB building in Riga has been unable to find new tenants. In order to turn the spotlight on and prompt discussion about the history of the building, the KGB House is open to the general public from April 30 to October 31 this year, offering an extensive educational and cultural programme. The first, fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the building showcase history and art exhibitions about the building, visitors are also offered guided tours of the building's legendary ominous basement.

56"57'29 24"7'27
56.958164, 24.124210
  • Address: 
    Brīvības un Stabu ielas stūris, Rīga
  • Languages spoken: 
    • English
    • German
    • Latvian
    • Russian
Services: 
  • Exhibitions
Last updated: 10.03.2014

Ķīpsala International Exhibition Centre is the largest specialised exhibition centre in the Baltic countries. This is where, all year long, thematic exhibits take place every weekend, as well as various sports, cultural and recreational events.

The Ķīpsala International Exhibition Centre includes two main halls, three spacious conference halls, and two more rooms with seating capacity of up to forty people. There is a guarded car park near the centre.

Various exhibitions are held in Ķīpsala all year round, many of which have become popular events that the public looks forward to attending. These include “School”, Baltic Book Fair, fairs dedicated to cars, photography, agricultural machinery, tourism, textiles and others, accompanied by all kinds of events.

Ķīpsala Exhibition Centre also hosts impressive cultural and recreational events, including dancesport festivals, Christmas concerts, large-scale dancing and sports events for adults and children.

Kaņepe Culture Centre is located in a building over one hundred years old that has witnessed conversions by Baltic Germans and Russian aristocracy, as well as events by Latvian Bohemians in the interwar period. For almost fifty years, the building housed a music school, but now it has regained its Bohemian aura.

The building is enclosed by a yard and has a terrace, particularly popular during the summer.

Kaņepe Culture Centre hosts experimental, indie and world music concerts featuring local and foreign artists. On weekends, deejays take the stage to set the mood for parties and dancing.

The culture centre frequently stages various thematic activities and events.

Kaņepe Culture Centre’s second floor is room to the “Kino Bize” (Film Braid), where independent films, new art films and classics from all over the world are screened. They are often preceded or succeeded by the opportunity to meet with film makers, participate in discussion sessions and enjoy lectures.

There is an architectural landmark situated in a five-hectare large park in the northern suburb of Vecmīlgrāvis, just five minutes from Riga centre by car - "Ziemeļblāzma" Culture Palace.

"Ziemeļblāzma" was built in 1913 by lumber magnate and patron of the arts Augusts Dombrovskis with the objective being for local residents to enjoy a full social and cultural life. In those days, the centre (called "pils" in Latvian (Eng: "palace")) was one of  the most significant arts and education facilities in all of Latvia.

Now, finally, the 100-year-old edifice has been entirely restored, bringing back its historic worth and architectural beauty. "Ziemeļblāzma", as the sole such centre in the vicinity, has major socioeconomic and societal integration importance, as it is home to a number of local amateur collectives – theatre studios, choirs, dance troupes and fine art classes.

The culture centre regularly features plays, operettas, concerts and art shows, with its adjoining park also utilised as a venue for events.

Located in Old Town, “Nabaklab”is known for its artistic and academic atmosphere where concerts and exhibitions are held on a regular basis, also movie showings, poetry/prose readings, discussion sessions. Moreover, sans an event, it is a pleasant and cosy place to escape the mad rush.

The attractive building housing the club was constructed by University of Latvia benefactor Kristaps Morbergs, and it fits perfectly in the downtown Boulevard Circle architectural ensemble. Now, the club offers entertainment and relaxation in a number of spaces for a romantic rendezvous, or dancing to rock, reggae, ska, or some other alternative music. An added plus is that sitting at the long bar by the window gives you the additional treat of being able to see the Freedom Monument.

Built in 1207 as a castellum type fortress, later rebuilt into a convent type building. From 2012 it is possible to climb up the North Tower, the Main Gate Tower and enjoy the medieval aura. Virtual tour: www.promotour.lv/tour/sigulda-2/

In the ancient Gauja valley, shaped by the River Gauja and its tributaries, dozens of stone castles were erected and occupied in addition to the many castle mounds that were built by earlier locals. This area has the greatest concentration of castles not only in Latvia but also in Eastern Europe.

Geographically, the Gauja valley played an important role during the Crusades due to its existing network of waterways and land roads that were already in place. The valley was also home to a variety of ethnic groups who each controlled their own lands. During the 13th century many new territories were established on the basis of war and battle.

Sigulda Medieval Castle was built by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword who were later incorporated into the Teutonic Order of the castle, thus the castle eventually became the property of the Livonian Order.

The Livonian Brothers of the Sword, officially known as The Militia of Christ of Livonia, was a military order comprised of German "warrior monks.” They later became better known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword due to the symbols on their white capes: a red sword and cross. The order, founded in 1202, was the first "warrior monk” order formed outside the Mediterranean region. Historical documents indicate Bishop Albert and Cistercian Abbot Teoderih were the co-founders of the order. The military order’s mission was to remain in Livonia to protect the land and conquer new territories.

As part of the land division between themselves and Bishop Albert in 1207, the order gained the territory which stretched along the left side of the Gauja River. In the ongoing competition to determine hegemony between the Bishop and the Livonian Order, castle placement became a strategic factor. According to the Rhymed Chronicles, Sigulda Medieval Castle was erected sometime between 1207 and 1209 under the direction of Master Venno of the Order of the Brethren of the Sword. The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia says that the castle was in use by the Brothers of the Sword as a base while battling revolting Livs that were invading from a nearby castle.

Sigulda Medieval Castle was initially built to monitor and control the water ways of the Gauja River and to fend off any invasion attempts from the nearby bishop’s castle in Turaida which was located on the river’s west coast. In 1224 the Pope’s legate, Wilhelm of Modena, stayed at the castle and established both a church and parish. In 1237 the lands of the Livonian Brothers of the Sword become the property of the German Order who continued to conquer additional territories in Latvia up until 1290. 

At the very beginning of the Livonian war, Sigulda Medieval Castle was damaged and in 1562 it became a part of the PolishStarostwo. At the end of the 16th century, the Poles repaired the castle and its surrounding buildings. During the Polish – Swedish war the castle was seriously damaged. After the war, the Swedes reported that the castle was empty and destroyed.  In the 1622 it was again restored and a new residential building and sauna were built. 

In 1737 Sigulda became a private estate. It was first the property of Count Lasi, followed by Brown and the Borhs. In the 19th century the castle and its layout were remodeled and a gate, inscribed with the year 1867, was added to the front part of the castle. The gate tower surrounding the inner castle building was decorated with the Borh family coat of arms. Additionally, the ruins of the castle were fortified and two pseudo-gothic arches were constructed. Finally, between 1878 and 1881, a new castle was built by Duke Kropotkin’s family.

At the beginning of the 19th century the castle once again got attention but, following the trend of the times, it was simply admired as a romantic ruin. Monument protection concerns caused some construction work to be done in order to renew the gate tower and other important parts of the castle.  Due to its importance as a tourist attraction, the castle walls have been fortified many times in the 20th century.

After WWI with the establishment of Latvia, the ruins have been under the auspices of the Monument Board.

In 2011, the European Union co-sponsored a project designed to assist with the renovations. It was officially titled “Reconstruction of Sigulda Castle Ruins and Infrastructure Adjustment for Tourism Development” and successfully concluded in 2012.

All of this has resulted in the reconstruction of the castle ruins and it’s surroundings which makes it a unique tourist attraction combining a rich cultural history in an ecologically clean environment.

You are welcome to climb up into the Castle’s southern and northern towers which have been opened for the first time since the renovations. Take a walk on the walls of the ruins to enjoy the pristine atmosphere and the beautiful views of Gauja river valley and the nearby historical monuments. The technical part of this project was executed by the office of Inara Caunite. 

Annual concerts and festivals are organized on the open air stage of Sigulda castle-ruins. The season traditionally opens in May with the Cherry Blossom Ball followed by the Jazz Festival, Blues Festival and Theater Day.  The most remarkable event is the Opera Festival, originally initiated 20 years ago by Dainis Kalns and held in Sigulda ever since.

Livonian Order’s castle in Sigulda to its visitors offers explicit and historically active journey within the everyday life of Livonian Order’s Brotherhood. Visitors vill discoverhow the inner structure of the Order was formed and how did it function; how did Order’s brothers and servants dress and arm themselves; what was the everyday life and military campaigns of the Order’s brotherhood like. More information: http://tourism.sigulda.lv/journey-within-the-everyday-life-of-livonian-order-s-brotherhood/

  • Category: 
    Restaurants

Our restaurant specializes in healthy food for diverse tastes. We offer a wide range of meals for raw food lovers, as well as many different cooked (also meat) dishes.

The concept of our restaurant is in accordance with slow food philosophy – local, natural, seasonal and traditional food, in place of processed, non-descript and mass produced food, using top quality ingredients. In the preparation process, we use state-of-the-art technology, which has been created for especially for the health conscious. This technology allows us to maximize the nutritional value and taste of our ingredients, without the help of any chemical additives. The brainchild of our menu is chef Pāvels Skopa.

Services: 
  • Access for disabled people
  • WC
  • WiFi Internet
  • Banquet service
  • Catering
  • Premises for celebrations
  • Live music
  • Working hours: 
    Monday - Wednesday12:00 - 22:00
    Thursday - Saturday12:00 - 23:00
    Sunday12:00 - 22:00

„Veldzes Nams” guest house is located within 5-10 minute walk from city’s recreation and entertainment area. Every room is equipped with air-conditioner, TV, WC, shower, dishes, electric kettle, hairdryer. 

In the guest house for guests free of charge are available: 

  • Wi-Fi; 
  • kitchen with all the accessories necessary for meal preparation, washing machine; 
  • landscaped rest area, terrace with tables and barbecue; 
  • children"s playground; 
  • tourism information about Ventspils; 
  • parking lot. 

We offer modern halls for your activities: 

  • celebrations 
  • workshops 
  • presentations 
  • weddings 
  • conferences 
  • and other measures. 
Services: 
  • Access for disabled people
  • Bicycle rental
  • Internet
  • Pets allowed
  • Picnic area
  • Place to celebrate
  • Playgrounds
  • Sauna
  • Workshops and conferences

Restaurant AQUA LUNA is on the bank of the river Daugava in the Andrejsala area of central Riga, and is the ideal place to enjoy nature, calmness, great food and good music - just a few steps away from the vibrant city centre.

The chef of AQUA LUNA offers original dishes for European tastes with a daring mix of culinary traditions. International influences can be found in the AQUA LUNA kitchen – French and Italian classics, Baltic traditional cuisine, Canadian lobster and Chilean perch, Indian mango, and originally served seafood. Fresh products, light and balanced food are the main rules for this cosy restaurant. The menu focuses on modern European cuisine with Asian accents. On Thursdays AQUA LUNA has live music evenings, and on Fridays and Saturdays nights great dance parties. 

Mālpils Manor is among the most elegant monuments of Classicism found in Vidzeme. On the eve of its 250th anniversary it has reborn once again.

Surrounded by a beautiful landscape, Malpils Manor is located in a small, pleasant town, Mālpils, about 45 km east of Riga. Today Mālpils Manor is not only an outstanding monument of Classicism and a historical museum but also a four-storey luxury design hotel with 24 rooms, a restaurant and premises for celebrating memorable events.

The baroque park, the surrounding natural landscape and other buildings included in the manor complex offer various recreational opportunities. There are tours on ancient-style bicycles to the local dairy plant to taste the renowned Malpils cheese. You can also enjoy romantic boat trips on the pond, country excursions in horse carts, and other interesting activities.

Nowadays the romantic Baroque park of Mālpils Manor has regained its charm – the unusual stillness and tranquility, the purling sound of the pond fountain and the overall atmosphere of antiquity. The manor surroundings accommodate a garden of flowers and aromatic herbs, two fountains, and ponds with blossoming waterlilies. The footpath benches were made from the trees growing in the same park. Baron von Taube’s obelisk has been renovated as well. Various leisure activities are offered: romantic outings in a wooden boat, drinking coffee in a little wooden teashed, walking on the lovers’ bridge.