Latvian wooden architecture

Latvian wooden architecture
29 December, 2015

Among other things to admire in Latvia, is its wooden architecture designed and built since the 9th century. Before it was used to build family houses and homesteads, but today it is part of its culture heritage and projects.

However, the Araisi Archaeological Museum Park located on an island in the region of Cēsis, is the only place built between 9th and 11th country with this material.

In Riga, the famous district known for this characteristic is Pardaugava, is considered the centre of wooden architecture during the 17th century. Usually these buildings were used as fortresses and castles to protect the villages from wars and invaders.

Unfortunately, when the World War II started most of these buildings were burned and approximately less than 4000 remained left.

Some of the places recommendable to visit nowadays and admire these wooden buildings in Riga are the Moscow district, Agenskalns, Grizinkalns and Kipsala. You can visit St. Nicholas church and the Riga Lutheran church of Jesus and the Kalnciema quarter that works as a concert hall and for contemporary exhibitions. Nevertheless, most of the buildings have been renovated to be used in the city for regular exhibitions, workshops and seminars that give a modern touch to the city.

Now, the wooden farms are completely popular touristic attractions, it is recommendable for you to visit:

  • The Latvian Ethnographic open air museum that was habituated by fishermen, farmers and craftsmen. You can still see some of their working tools and old interior furnishing. During the summer and winter, the visitor can participate in different events like ice fishing. The entrance fee is 2 euro but for students is 1.40 euro.
  • The old believer’s village in the city of Daugava, that shows houses constructions normally built for the peasants, which have similarities with the facades from other Slavic countries, especially with the doors and windows design. Here the entrance costs 4.50 euro.

Both places are opened year-round, however they close earlier (until 5pm) during the autumn and winter season but for summer they are opened until 8 pm or later depending on the event they present.

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