Wonders of Latvia
The most amazing wonders of Latvia are:
- Architectural heritage in Riga City – city has several historical districts with unique architecture, there are many thousands of valuable buildings. Especially rich is the architectural heritage created in the late 19th – early 20th century.
- Palaces and manor houses – many landlords in earlier times had a stiff competition about the most imposing and posh country residence.
- Castles – there are more than 100 medieval castles and castle ruins in Latvia. Only some 10 still are habitable, but often the castle ruins represent very impressive sight too.
Map with the described wonders
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Top 25 wonders of Latvia
Widest and most impressive waterfall in Latvia. Width of this 1.5 – 2 m high waterfall is 270 – 275 m.
Outcrop of Devonian sandstone. The smooth surface of sandstone creates interesting echo effects.
An enormous Baroque style palace, constructed in 1736 – 1768, with ensemble of subsidiary buildings and large park. Under reconstruction since 1972. Palace has 138 rooms with ornate interior.
Riga Center is area of Riga City adjoining the medieval Old City and Boulevard. Center is developed in the 19th – early 20th century and contains thousands of valuable buildings in Eclecticism and Art Nouveau styles. Notable concentration of especially ornate buildings is in the area of Alberta Street.
This is a core part of the medieval Riga that developed since the late 12th century. There has been preserved the old street pattern in Old Riga, while the numerous valuable buildings represent diverse architectural styles.
Riga St. Peter’s Church
Medieval church with spectacular, 123 m tall Baroque spire. First mentioned in 1209, extended in later times, current design of tower created in 1671 – 1690, last rebuilding of the tower ended in 1973.
Turaida Medieval Castle
Large medieval castle in impressive setting at the rim of the 90 m deep Gauja River valley. Construction of this castle started in 1214, there has been made extensive rebuilding in the 20th century.
Cesis medieval castle
Ruins of an enormous medieval castle. Construction started shortly before 1218. In 1297 – 1577 the castle served as the administrative center of the influential Livonian order.
Riga Dome Cathedral
The largest medieval church in Baltic states, built in 1211 and extended in later times. Current Baroque tower constructed in 1775.
Bauska medieval castle and ducal palace
Large structure, consisting of two parts – medieval castle (built in 1443) and Renaissance style ducal palace, built in 1596.
Riga Order Castle
Well preserved, historically very important building. Construction of castle in this location was started in the end of 1340ies, castle was rebuilt in 1515. The castle now unites numerous architectural styles and contains many values of art.
The largest antique vehicle museum in the Baltic countries. It was established in 1989 and contains more than 230 vehicles including several vehicles of the leaders of Soviet Union.
Kuldiga Old City
Well preserved, picturesque historical town with hundreds of wooden and stone buildings from the 17th – 19th century, without modern buildings.
Rundale Palace Park
The only preserved Baroque style park in Latvia, area 47 ha. Park is thoroughly planned to create a harmonious whole with Rundale Palace.
A large church, constructed in 1768 – 1780 in Baroque style. Initially here was located paganic shrine, first Christian church was built here in 1700. Numerous legends about marvels.
Koknese medieval castle
Impressive ruins of an enormous castle that was constructed in 1209. Abandoned in 1701. Now the ruins are rising from the artificial lake of hydroelectric power station in Daugava River.
Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum
Extensive ethnographic museum with 118 old buildings from all regions of Latvia, including very valuable late Renaissance – Baroque wooden churches. Museum established in 1928.
Edole medieval castle
Well preserved medieval castle from the 14th century, partly rebuilt in Neo-Gothic style in 1840. Site of numerous legends, stories about haunting.
Ungurmuiža Manor House
An exquisite wooden manor house, constructed in 1732 in Baroque style. Well preserved.
Freedom Monument (Brīvības piemineklis)
Large monument in Art Deco style, built in 1935. This 42 m tall monument was built to commemorate the victims of Independence War, now it symbolizes the freedom of Latvia.
The Little Guild
An ornate public building, created by the union of Riga craftsmen in the 19th century. Built in Eclecticism style, has very ornate interior.
Beautiful palace in romantic Neo-Renaissance style, built in the 19th century.
Irbene Radio Astronomical Centre
State-of-art spying equipment of Soviet Army – two enormous parabolic antennas with diameter 32 and 16 meters. Nowadays used for space exploration.
Make your trip to the Baltic States an unforgettable cultural experience with our DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. From top restaurants, bars, and clubs to stand-out scenic sites and walks, our insider tips are sure to make your trip outstanding. Whether you’re looking for unique and interesting shops and markets, or seeking the best venues for music and nightlife, we have entertainment and hotel recommendations for every budget covered in our Eyewitness Travel Guide.
Latvia Matters: The Adventures of a Large Man Who Stumbled Around in a Small Country When Dale Sims received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in the small country of Latvia he left everything familiar and comfortable behind. His determination to do a good job of representing the United States of America presented a number of challenges, not the least of which were his own preconceived notions of other countries and cultures.