Monday, 3 September 2018

Riga, Latvia (Republikas Laukums 3)

Still no call back from the local Segway tour company as of this morning. I decided to proceed on foot and do a deep dive on a few of the interesting places in the old town of Riga.

On the way to the main square of Riga’s old town I stopped by the Segway office but they were closed. No matter, the weather was great for walking around. My strategy was look for all of the steeples and turn this adventure into a “steeple chase” tour. There were a few places that I wanted to visit as well.

Think I managed to find all of the larger churches. Though didn’t figure in that many would be closed on Monday. Others were in process of being restored and were closed. Was somewhat difficult to get good pictures of these beautiful churches since they were in located among the old buildings. Regardless, I enjoyed my “steeple chase”.

“The Three Brothers” was interesting and informative to visit. These are three very old buildings that sit side-by-side. The oldest of the buildings dates from the 15th century. The buildings now house the State Inspection for Heritage Protection and the Latvian Museum of Architecture. On display were various drawings of Riga’s old town streets from differing time periods. Riga’s old town is quite a gem and good to see that Riga is investing in its history and preservation of the buildings.

The other place of interest was the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation. Once I bought my ticket and started my tour, I had no idea of the extent of their collection. The museum began some 200 years ago and was consistently supported and maintained over the years. The collection is organized by time periods rather than have, for instance, one display of musical instruments covering all of the centuries. I found three displays of musical instruments displayed in the appropriate time periods. I took pictures of these three displays.

While walking through the many rooms of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, I was still processing the loss of Brazil’s National Museum. The people of Riga would be devastated if this museum was to suffer a similar fate. I saw a number of museum docents who were available in each room. I was glad I took the time to visit this museum and impressed with the care as it has been maintained.

The third building I wanted to see was the Riga castle and 18th century presidential palace, where the president resides. I found it interesting how both buildings were combined. The castle portion faces the river while the palace faces inward toward the city. It is like a two-headed coin. You don’t see both sides at once. Unfortunately, the castle portion, founded in 1330, was heavily damaged by fire in 2013 and only recently has the exterior been restored. None of the collections within the building were destroyed. (On a side note, while there were no crowds standing outside the palace portion of the complex, there was one very angry woman yelling up to the palace. Probably hoping the president of Latvia was listening. She was carrying a stack of papers and no doubt had a grievance with the president.)

It was a full day or touring and I was ready for a nap when I returned to the flat. I have one more full day in Riga and I’ll probably walk through the old town one more time and also need to mail the estate document and checks to the attorney.

Tonight I enjoyed another couple of episodes of “The Flash”. I should be finished with all the episodes just about when I meet up with Ori and Molly. It will be after my tour of southern England with Corrine when I’ll need to find something else to watch at night.

To see pictures: 

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