Riga Castle

Riga Castle (Latvian: Rīgas pils) is a castle on the banks of River Daugava in Riga, the capital of Latvia. The castle was founded in 1330. This structure was thoroughly rebuilt between 1497 and 1515. Upon the castle’s seizure by the Swedes, they constructed spacious annexes in 1641. The fortress was continually augmented and reconstructed between the 17th and 19th centuries. Sometime in the 1930s, some renovation work was done by architect Eižens Laube. The Latvian government declared the castle its residence in 1938. Today it is the official residence of the President of Latvia as well as home to several museums.

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Riga, with its central geographic position and concentration of population, has always been the infrastructural hub of Latvia. Several national roads begin in Riga, and European route E22 crosses Riga from the east and west, while the Via Baltica crosses Riga from the south and north.
As a city situated by a river, Riga also has several bridges. The oldest standing bridge is the Railway Bridge, which is also the only railroad-carrying bridge in Riga. The Akmens Bridge connects Old Riga and Pārdaugava; the Salu Bridge connects Maskavas Forštate and Pārdaugava via Zaķusala; and the Vanšu Bridge connects Old Riga and Pārdaugava via Ķīpsala. In 2008, the first stage of the new Dienvidu Bridge route across the Daugava was completed, and was opened to traffic on 17 November.

Riga castle is a symbol of temporal power and an apartment in Riga and Latvia. Its construction began in 1330 as the residence of Master of the Livonian Order. Originally the castle was a three-story fortress sooruzheniems courtyard and four towers. In the years 1495-1515 . , When restoring the castle, 2 towers were rebuilt , the interior blocked arches in the form of cells and stars over the gate installed sculptural high relief patron of the Order of St Mary ‘s and Master Walter von Plettenberga.V 1938 interiors of the castle have been transformed for the needs of Latvian government . Today the castle – the residence of the President of Latvia. In addition, the castle houses the Museum of Foreign Art and History Museum of Latvia .

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The castle was built on the basis of a treaty between Riga and the Livonian Order – in 13th century Rigans had rebelled against the Order and demolished its original castle in centre of the town. Due to constant fights with Rigans the Order chose to rather build a new castle behind borders of the town, than rebuild the original castle. The site occupied by Convent of the Saint Spirit – a hospital and shelter for the poor – was chosen and the convent moved to location of the original castle. The castle served as residence of Master of the Livonian Order, but due to continuous conflicts with Rigans the residence was moved to Castle of Cēsis sometime before the castle was destroyed by Rigans in 1484. The Rigans eventually lost the fight and were forced to rebuild the castle – the restoration was finished in 1515. After the Union of Wilno order cased to exist in 1561 the Castle became Lithuanian and in 1569 – Polish-Lithuanian stronghold. In 1621. Riga came under Swedish rule and the Castle was used to house Swedish administration.
Riga is not only the capital of Latvia, but also the biggest city and one of the main harbours in the country. It is the place where the tourists are given the opportunity to dip in the great atmosphere of the olden times, enjoy the magnificent historic monuments. It should be emphasized that Riga appears on the place of the ancient settlement of Livs, where the Ridzene River flows into the Duagava. On the right bank of the Duagava there is the Medieval Old Town, impressing the visitors by the beauty of the twisted and narrow streets. Small houses with old-fashioned lanterns stand for the remarkable characteristic feature of the Ridzene Street. Rich history of the city and country is reflected in the architecture. The multistoried barns with coming to a point roofs, made of red tiles can still be found in the neighbouring streets. Riga is also the world known cultural centre.

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The Castle originally was a three floor building, which enclosed a rectangular courtyard, and had four rectangular towers in its corners. After the Castle was demolished in 1484 it was rebuilt with two towers replaced by round towers following the latest developments of military technologies. The Castle experienced vast development during 17th century when it was almost constantly under construction. In 1682 Arsenal was attached to the castle, it was torn down about one hundred years later, in 1783 to build a court/house.

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