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New gardens for Riga residents and visitors


ESENA Pārdaugava Gardens on Dzirciema iela on the left bank of the River Daugava are open to visitors looking to relax, as well as indulge in active pursuits, organise events and even do a spot of gardening.

Visitors can make use of the beach volleyball and football fields, a golf practice area, rent quadricycles, boats and SUP boards, and will soon be able to clamber through the trees on an obstacle course.

Event organisers can choose from a range of tents and picnic spots available for hire and suitable for parties or corporate gettogethers. Nearby the tents is an area of hammocks, hung in a picturesque wooded area.

Gardening enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that there’s a special area allocated to allotments.

During the summer season, the gardens (over 60 hectares in size!) will be host to a series of talks and workshops dedicated to urban gardening, green living, decorating for garden parties and other useful topics. Dinnija Laksa, the director of ESENA Pārdaugava Gardens explains: “Our aim is for every participant to find out at least three new and genuinely useful things during each outdoor talk.”

The name of the gardens has to do with the area’s history. In the 16th – 17th century this was the location of the councilmen’s residence, known back then as Gotan’s Manor. In the 18th century, the manor got a new owner – Immanuel Just Essen, the pastor of Riga Dome Cathedral, in whose name it was then called.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the manor became the property of the Popov family but in the Soviet period, the area was taken over by the state. The Popov family regained ownership in 1995.

Since 2001, the only owner is “Popova legāts” Ltd., which founded an association tasked with bringing together supporters of the idea to develop the area into public access gardens.

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