In 1201, Riga was a small port town. From the 13th century to the 15th century Riga grew, as one of the key centers of the Hanseatic League, (towns with German ties that functioned with independent political power) Because of their valuable trading and cultural routes Riga flourished and led the way in current trends in architecture and urban planning. It’s medieval core reflected prosperity, although simple in needs and design. By the 17th century, Riga was the largest provincial town of Sweden. In the 19th century suburbs were laid out beyond the medieval village with wooden buildings in neoclassical design and eventually stone buildings were built. In the Historic Center of Riga there are three distinct urban landscapes: the well-preserved medieval core, the 19th century semi-circle of boulevards with green belt parks on both sides of the City Canal and the dense built up area of rectangular streets and wooden architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite destruction in WWI, WWII, and Russian Occupation for many years, Riga has once again built up the city to its glorious past. For this reason Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a must see in the Baltic! Today, for THURSDAY DOORS I am mainly in the medieval core ……………..
I liked the wooden fold out doors and the tiny, tiny wooden doors on the windows. Another weathervane was up there too! If you didn’t read my post on Riga’s steeples, towers and weathervanes look HERE.
From this photo you can see just how thick the walls were and how the inner core was like a rabbit’s warren of connected buildings……and small courtyards……….
This housing was right along the defensive wall of the original walled village. They allowed houses to be attached to the defensive walls in order to strengthen it and make it even harder to penetrate. I wondered who would want this spot? Maybe the tradesman……….. or a woman, who wanted to know the comings and goings of everyone. You know, this would be the spot for the village gossip!
I thought the light fixture was a good idea too, no pole. Just wire it from electrical lines coming from all the close knit buildings. With all these old, old buildings and narrow paths between the buildings it would have been very, very dark and scary, in days gone by! I could just imagine the torches lighting the way!
Some of the walls here had what looked like hand painted decorations on them…………
You definitely could see make-do and add, on this wall………..
Here are these wooden shutter doors again. These have quite the artistic design and represent the Art Gallery……..Notice all the cats painted on it? More about Cats in Riga in a future post.
Rather than a Godfather they had a Good Father……….
If you like music you would love Riga…….there is music everywhere, from the street musicians to the bands, to the folkart singers………there is music around every corner! You hear it before you get there!
Keep the cannon and pass the cannoli……Ha Ha! Never give up your cannons, add them to the city walls!
Finally a proper door……
and this one……….
And, now we are coming to a building section consisting of three houses. The Houses of the Three Brothers form the oldest complex of dwellings in Riga. Each house represents a different development of construction.
The white house at 17 Maza Pils Street is the oldest, dating from the 15th century. It is made up of crow-stepped gables. Inside, the original floor plan consisted of one large room and an attic that was used for storage. It was restored from 1955-1957.
The yellow house next door at 19 Maza Pils Street reveals an exterior dating from 1646 with the stone portal added in 1746. This style is Dutch Mannerism.
The last house at 19 Maza Pils Street is a very narrow Baroque style building from the late 17th century. Today, these houses are used for the offices of the State Inspection for Heritage Protection. I might add that Tallinn, Estonia called their oldest connected buildings the Houses of the Three Sisters. These two cities are still trying to outdo each other!
I’m going to stop today with the fence/door of yet another church!
I hope you have enjoyed our stroll through the medieval historic quarter of Riga today! There’s more to this beautiful city……….see you in the parks tomorrow!
Look here to see what others are doing for Norm’s Doors!
It’s easy to do Norm’s Doors. Photograph some doors and post them to Thursday Doors on Thursday!
PS All photos were taken on our IPhones …….we are traveling lighter!