About Riga Castle: Riga Castle

Strong walls and towers of the Riga Castle overlook the embankment of the Daugava river. The castle is in the north of the Old Town of Riga and is one of the most interesting sights of the city.

The construction of the Riga Castle was begun in 1330, about 130 years after the Bremen bishop Albert von Buxhoeveden had founded the city of Riga in 1201. The location of the city proved to be successful, and the city rapidly developed. Everything was subjected to trade in the city. And in the area of warehouses and granaries, which is the most ancient district of the city, even the churches were equipped by windlasses, so that their rooms could be used for storage.

Livonian Order, which aimed to spread its influence over the East-country lands, also tried to get its influence over Riga. Consequently, after the siege of the city in 1330 the master of this order laid down the foundation of the Riga Castle a bit to the north of the Old Town of Riga to control the ships putting to sea from Riga.

The first castle was built by the model of a typical medieval fortress, but it was destroyed during the revolt in 1484. A new and stronger castle was built in 1515.

In 16-17 centuries the castle housed the residences of Polish and Sweden governors and after the East-country lands had been included in the Russian Empire the Riga Castle was the residence of the general-governor of Livonia. From 18 century to present days the castle was continuously rebuilt and extended. As far back as 19 century the buildings of stables and storages were pulled down and on their place the ceremonial halls were erected, which conformed to the requirements of that time. Today it houses some museums, besides the residence of the President of Latvia.

The Old Town of Riga ends at the Riga Castle, and beyond it newer quarters are located. At this point you should turn to the north and go towards the Three Brothers, as well as the Riga City Walls, which are near the Jacob's Barracks.

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