Riga Cathedral, Latvia
One of the most recognisable features in the Latvian capital, Riga Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church and the largest medieval church in the Baltic states. Found in 1211, the cathedral has been updated and renovated over the centuries meaning the architecture is an amalgamation of different styles from the 13th to 18th centuries. The majority of the church is in the Gothic style, built in the 15th century but the oldest portion has Romanesque features and the tower is 18th-century Baroque. While the cathedral is still used for church services, the complex includes the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation. This museum features more than 500,000 archival items and tells the story of 800 years of Riga's history.
Turaida Castle, Latvia
The beautiful Turaida Castle looks like it came straight off the pages of a storybook. One might expect to see a princess peering down at them from the castle's tall cylindrical tower, built in 1214. A medieval castle on a strip of land between two ravines at Gauja River, Turaida Castle is the highlight and most visually impressive element of Turaida Museum Reserve. The reserve encompasses the castle and the surrounding area and includes small galleries and exhibits, an art studio and a sculpture garden. Within the castle, there is a museum which offers an insight into the history of Livonia between 1319 and 1561. The name 'Turaida' comes from the Livic language and translates to 'Garden of Gods', which is a fitting name from the largest protected cultural monument and the oldest visible castle in the country. Less than an hour's drive from Riga, Turaida Castle is a must-see.
Rundale Palace, Latvia
80 km south of Riga, the Latvian capital, one will find Rundale Palace, a magnificent Baroque and Rococo-style mansion used as the summer residence for the Dukes of Courland. Often referred to as the 'Versailles of Latvia', the dazzling complex features wonderful formal gardens and the grand residence is a sumptuous monument to aristocratic opulence. The gardens and around 40 of the palace's 138 rooms are open to visitors and feature glimpses into the everyday life of 18th-century aristocrats.
Questions about Latvia for senior Travellers
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