ABOUT LATVIA

PLACES TO VISIT IN LATVIA

1. Rundale Palace And Museum

The Rundale Palace is set amidst the fertile Zemgale Plains in the south of Latvia. The Rundale Palace ensamble, one of the most outstanding monuments of Baroque and Rococo architecture in Latvia, was built between 1736 and 1740 as a summer residence for Ernst Johann Biron, Duke of Courland and a favourite of the Russian Empress Anna Ioannovna. The palace was designed by the Russian court architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli and built under his supervision.

2. Aglona Basilica

Aglona Basilica was built in the late baroque style and it is decorated with two 60 metre high towers. Every year on the 15th of August, pilgrims congregate in Aglona to mark the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven. This is one of the best known sacred sites in the world; groins vaults, arches and columns richly decorated in rococo style can be found inside.

3. Old Riga

Old Riga is the historical and geographical centre of Riga on the right bank of the Daugava. Old Riga covers a relatively small inner area of the 13th-18th century fortifications where unique monuments of medieval architecture which, surprisingly, have survived two world wars are concentrated.

4. The Historical Centre of Kuldīga

Kuldiga is a small and attractive town in Kurzeme which has always been admired and praised by poets and painters. The city centre, which developed in the 17th –18th centuries, has still preserved the old wooden buildings which form small and narrow streets.

5. Jurmala City

The town of Jurmala is proud of its unique natural resources – therapeutic thermal waters, peat mud, pine forests, healthy maritime climate, dunes and beaches covering 32.8 kilometres. The beach is covered in white quartz sand, and "The Blue Flag", which is a sign of a high quality, safe and well-equipped beach, has been hoisted at Majori and Jaunķemeri beaches. The area has been adjusted for people with special needs. It is an excellent place for family holidays. Jurmala health resorts and SPA centres offer an extensive range of beauty and health-care procedures

6. Gauja National Park

The picturesque ancient valley of the Gauja River has been attracting tourists from all over the world for centuries, and not without reason – Gauja National Park is the most popular tourist destination in Latvia. Its first visitors were hiking in the Sigulda area with walking-sticks as far back as in the 19th century and the evidence of this is the engravings left by them on the sandstone walls of the caves.

7. Turaida Museum Reserve

Turaida Museum Reserve is a heritage site. The 42 hectares of grounds are replete with archaeological, architectural, historical and art monuments, all of which provide an account of the events from the eleventh century onwards. The events of the Turaida Museum Reserve are multi-faceted: besides setting up exhibitions, activities are geared towards the preservation of the cultural environment, the maintenance and shaping of the landscape, as well as diverse visitor-oriented activities.

8. Ventspils

Ventspils a popular tourist centre in Latvia, offering recreation on a "Blue Flag" beach with excellent amenities and Ventspils Aqua Park. Children will enjoy the playgrounds at the Children's Town. The facilities of Olympic Centre "Ventspils" welcome sports fans. History is still alive in Ventspils Old Town, in the Castle of the Livonian Order, and in the narrow cobbled streets of Ostasgals. A 6 metre high and 23 tonne anchor is displayed on the Anchor Path. A ride on the narrow gauge railway "Mazbānītis" or in the velo rail car at the Maritime Open Air Museum offer unique sensations, as does a tour of the aquatorium of Ventspils Port in the ship "Hercogs Jēkabs".

9. Liepaja

Liepaja is an ancient city on the Baltic Sea east coast, located between the sea and Liepaja Lake, where people have been living for more than 750 years. Liepaja is a city of music and culture. Wander in the Northern Fort labyrinths by torchlight, explore for yourself the exotic nature of the Military Port's architecture or the former prison, look at the art nouveau buildings in the city centre and the unique wooden architecture of the Seaside Park!

10. Cesis Old Town

Cesis is situated in the centre of Vidzeme and is one of the most beautiful towns in Latvia. The medieval castle ruins are the symbol of Cesis and, together with its park, create the romantic atmosphere in the town. The cobbled streets of Cesis Old Town have preserved the their layout from the Middle Ages, keeping also the old buildings with red tiled roofs, closed yards, and restored facades of the buildings.

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