Updated July 2020
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 693,064 inhabitants (January 2014), Riga is the largest city of the Baltic States and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city lies on the Gulf of Riga , at the mouth of the Daugava. Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former Hanseatic League member. Riga's historical centre is a UNesco World Heritage Site, noted for its Art Nouveau architecture and 19th century wooden architecture.
Latvia is the birthplace of my Mother. Although I was not able to visit the small town she came from, it was nonetheless a personal joy to have visited this city. (07-2014)
The building of the Brotherhood of Blackheads is one of the most iconic buildings of Riga.
(The Brotherhood of Blackheads was founded from the mid 14th century till 1940 as a military organization, however, the non-military aspects of the association gradually became more pronounced until the Brotherhood became a predominantly social organization after the end of the Great Northern War.)
The Cat House is a building situated in the old town of Riga. 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 cats should be turned to face the guildhouse.
Riga Cathedral (The Cathedral of Saint Mary)
It was built near the River Daugava in 1211 by Livonian Bishop A;bert of Riga. it is considered the largest medieval church in the Baltic States. It has undergone many modifications in the course of its history.
The organ of the Riga Cathedral was built by E.F. Walcker and Sons in 1882?83, and was inaugurated on 31 January 1884. It has four manuals and one pedalboard. It plays 116 voices, 124 stops, 144 ranks, and 6718 pipes. It includes 18 combinations and General Crescendo. A tape of Latvian composer Lucija Garuta playing the organ for a cantata during World War II captured the sound of battle nearby. We were provided with a short. but delightful organ recital during our visit.