Latvia is a country on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Estonia. Its landscape is marked by wide beaches as well as dense, sprawling forests. Latvia’s capital is Riga, home to notable wooden and art nouveau architecture, a vast Central Market and a medieval Old Town with St. Peter’s Church. Riga’s museums include the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, showcasing local crafts, food and music.

Latvia, country of northeastern Europe and the middle of the three Baltic states.

Latvia, which was occupied and annexed by the U.S.S.R. in June 1940, declared its independence on August 21, 1991. The U.S.S.R. recognized its sovereignty on September 6, and United Nations membership followed shortly thereafter. Latvia was admitted to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) in 2004. The capital and chief city is Riga.

The climate is influenced by the prevailing southwesterly winds coming from the Atlantic. Humidity is high, and the skies are usually cloudy; there are only about 30 to 40 days of sunshine per year. Average precipitation usually exceeds 20 inches (about 500 mm) on the lowlands and may approach or exceed 30 inches (about 760 mm) on the uplands. The frost-free season lasts about 125 to 155 days. Summers are often cool and rainy. The mean temperature in June is in the mid-60s F (about 17 °C), with occasional jumps into the mid-90s F (about 34 °C). Winter sets in slowly and lasts from the middle of December to the middle of March. The mean January temperature ranges from the upper 20s F (near −2 °C) on the coast to the lower 20s F (about −7 °C) in the east. There are occasional extreme temperature drops into the −40s F (about −40 °C).

Riga Town Hall Square

Riga Town Hall Square located in very heart of city and it has been a pivotal place in Riga history since early 1200-ies with Riga city foundation. The Town Hall square is a home for the Riga City Council, The House of Blackheads, Riga Technical University, walk-in Riga Information office, Museum of Occupation of Latvia and several cosy restaurants and coffee shops. In the middle of the square you will find the “Statue of St. Roland” in full armour, a medieval french abbot who has been a patron of the town since 1897 when the statue was built. 
The square got massively bombed during the WWII, and now rebuilt almost to its original look, however the black building of the “Museum of Occupation of Latvia” until 1991 being a “Museum of Red Latvian Riflemen” and promoting completely different values, is obviously not part of the original historic architecture ensemble. It was built in 1971 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Lenin.

St. James Cathedral

St. James’s Cathedral is the Roman Catholic cathedral of Riga in Latvia. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint James the Greater. The building is part of the Old Riga UNESCO World Heritage Site and lies directly opposite the House of the Livonian Noble Corporation, the meeting place of Latvia’s parliament the Saeima. 
The church is sometimes misleadingly called St. Jacob’s. The confusion arises because of English, unlike almost every other language, uses different names for the Old Testament name Jacob and the New Testament name James.

Riga Radio and TV Tower

Riga Television Tower is the highest building in the region and third highest TV tower in Europe. It was built in the 1980s and it is 368,00 m (1,207.33 ft) above the sea level. Riga Radio and TV Tower is 3 m higher than the famous Berlin TV tower means 47 m higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. 
At the heights of 93 m, there used to be Rose of Wind restaurant. Unfortunately, it was closed during the 2000s. However, the TV tower is still operating and is completing a magnificent panoramic view of Riga. Riga TV Tower is located on Zakusala Island. From its observation tower you can enjoy panoramic views of Riga, the distant Latvian countryside, and the Baltic Sea. The basement of this is 27 meters deep.

Riga Motor Museum

Riga Motor Museum is the biggest antique vehicle museum in the Baltic countries. It is located in Riga, Latvia. The museum is a state agency operating under the Republic of Latvia Ministry of Transport. Since 1992, the museum is a member of International Association of Transport and Communication Museums, since 1994 a member of Latvian Museum Association, since 2002 – a member of Latvian Transport Development and Education Association. The museum is located at 6 Sergeja Eizenšteina Street in the Mežciems neighbourhood of Riga. 
The museum also features a café and a sports club. The museum was founded in 1989 on an initiative from Latvia Antique Automobile club. The building was designed by the Latgyprogorstroy architect Viktors Valgums. Since 1992 it is a state museum. In 2013 the museum closed for reconstruction works. All vehicles were moved to temporary museum location in Rāmava. In 2 July 2016 the museum opened after reconstruction for everyone. One of the most significant exhibits in the museum is a replica of the 1938 Auto Union racing car Type C/D.

Latvian National Museum of Art

The Latvian National Museum of Art is the richest collection of national art in Latvia. It houses more than 52,000 works of art reflecting the development of professional art in the Baltic area and in Latvia from the middle of the 18th century until the present time. The museum is located in building in Riga, which is historically significant. 
The building at 1, Janis Rozentāls sq. was designed by the German architect Wilhelm Neumann and built in 1905 — it is one of the most impressive historical buildings on the boulevard and is situated next to the Academy of Art. It was the first building in the Baltics to be built for the purposes of a museum. Reconstruction of the museum was announced on 25 May 2010. Reconstruction was finished on 1 December 2015

Three Brothers

The Three Brothers is a building complex consisting of three houses, situated in Riga, Latvia. The houses together form the oldest complex of dwelling houses in Riga. Each house represents various periods of development of dwelling house construction. The building in 17 Maza Pils Street is the oldest, dating from the late 15th century. The exterior of the building is characterised by crow-stepped gables, Gothic decorations and a few early Renaissance details. 
Originally the building consisted internally of one large room and an attic in use as a storage. The house was restored in 1955–57 by architect P. Saulitis. The neighbouring house, 19 Maza Pils Street, has an exterior dating from 1646, with a stone portal added in 1746. The style of the building shows influences from Dutch Mannerism. The last house of the three, located in 21 Maza Pils Street, is a narrow Baroque building which gained its present look probably during the late 17th century. The Three Brothers complex today houses the State Inspection for Heritage Protection and the Latvian Museum of Architecture.

Cat House

The Cat House is a building situated at 10 Meistaru iela in the old town of Riga, the capital of Latvia. It was built in 1909 according to the blueprint of architect Friedrich Scheffel. The building is styled as medieval architecture with some elements of Art Nouveau. It is known for the two cat sculptures, with arched backs and raised tails, on its roof. 
It is said that the owner of the house wanted the cats to be placed with their tails turned towards the house of the Great Guild, which is nearby, as he held a grudge against its members. It was later ordered that the cats should be turned so as to face the guild house.

The Freedom Monument

The Freedom Monument is a memorial located in Riga, Latvia. It is honouring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence. It is considered an important symbol of the freedom, independence, and sovereignty of Latvia. Unveiled in 1935, the 42-metre high monument of granite, travertine, and copper often serves as the focal point of public gatherings and official ceremonies in Riga. The sculptures and bas-reliefs of the monument, arranged in thirteen groups, depict Latvian culture and history. 
The core of the monument is composed of tetragonal shapes on top of each other, decreasing in size towards the top, completed by a 19-metre high travertine column bearing the copper figure of Liberty lifting three gilded stars. The concept for the monument first emerged in the early 1920s when the Latvian Prime Minister, Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics, ordered rules to be drawn up for a contest for designs of a “memorial column”. After several contests the monument was finally built at the beginning of the 1930s according to the scheme “Mirdzi kā zvaigzne!” submitted by Latvian sculptor .

House of the Black Heads

The House of the Blackheads is rightly considered the most beautiful building of Riga. Its baroque facade with numerous sculptures is quite a decoration of the Town Hall Square. Located at Old Town of Riga. The house on the Town Hall Square was built in 14th century, when the guild of Riga merchants lost the House of the Large Guild after they were defeated by the Teutonic Order. However, eventually the relationships of the guild and the Order improved and they returned to their former house. 
The house on the Town Hall Square was leased to the Brotherhood of St. Mauritius, which was composed of young foreign merchants who traded with the East-country through Riga. This brotherhood had three patrons, namely, St. George, St. Gertrude and the main patron – St. Mauritius. It was a black Roman legionary who adopted the Christianity and died the death of a martyr and later was sanctified. 
The black head of St. Mauritius was depicted on the brotherhood’s coat of arms, and its members were called the Blackheads. And the house on the Town Hall Square, which was occupied by the Brotherhood, was also called the House of the Blackheads. The House of the Blackheads was the place for trade transactions by day and merry parties at night. It location in the center of the city, and unmarried status of its hosts made it one of the centers of public life. In 18 century the house became the property of the Brotherhood and since then it was officially called the House of the Blackheads. 
The excellent acoustics of the main hall of the House of the Blackheads made it possible to hold there not only parties but numerous concerts. During the World War II the House of the Blackheads was completely destroyed. But in 2001 it was restored to its original appearance. It is at walking distance from St. Peter’s Church, Dome (Riga) Cathderal, Jauniela Street, Riga City Walls and the other sights of the Old Town of Riga.

Ethnographic Open-Air Museum

Minsk City Hall is Grand, 19th-century classical-style government building open by appointment for public tours. It was initially wooden but after the fire in the 17th century, it was rebuilt in stone. It is the symbol of independence. In the middle of the 19th century, the tsar of Russia Nikolay- I ordered destroying the building. After the independent Belarusian state was established, the City hall was re-built from scratch and opened its doors to visitors in 2004. 
There is the Museum of Minsk city under the roof of the City Hall, there is a hall for forums, meetings and VIP-persons on the first floor. Costume events, steeped in the romance of the centuries when the City Hall existed, look appropriate and beautiful; concerts of music bands add harmony of the place

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