There is a famous saying that, “the world is simply a book, and those who do not travel only stay on one page.” For my travelers, we are constantly looking for the next great adventure. We are in a constant state of flux in wanting and needing a new rich and vibrant culture, an urban exploration, and a breathtakingly novel view. As many people can talk about the going to France or Spain, I encourage you to go outside of your comfort zone and experience the naturally rich and historically vibrant beauty known as Latvia.
Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. One of the three Baltic States, Latvia was colored by its complex history during its Soviet Union days. Regaining its independence in 1991, the country has done much in recreating its image. Now while many of you have never considered Latvia as a destination, take a look at the following places I have outlined that may have you reconsider your decision.
The old town of Riga is the city’s historic and geographic center located on the right bank of the Daugava River. Riga is known for its architecture, multicultural heritage, and various museums. This one of a kind masterpiece city provides all the daytime and nighttime activities for everyone of any age. One of the sites to see is usually around the religious holidays such as Christmas or Easter where both Dome and Livu squares are transformed into huge fairs and outdoor markets that sells various can colorful festive gifts and souvenirs. While there, take a look at the awe-inspiring churches, especially the Riga Dome Cathedral. Its gothic style vaulting is representative of the Latvian culture and history.
Gauja National Park
Gauja National Park is located in the Gauja River Valley and features more than five hundred cultural and historical monuments. The Gauja National Park was established in 1973 and provides its visitors with an incredible picturesque scene of the Gauja ancient valley. For those travelers who are outdoor and hiking enthusiast, you should not miss the Ligatne natural trail, where one could see a variety of wild animals during their journey. In addition to its picturesque view, the park itself is highly protected in order to promote a natural and sustainable wildlife area.
Siguida Medieval Castle
Siguida Medieval castle Ruins are located on the edge of the Guaja Valley. The history of this monument is absolutely incredible. Originally built in 1207 as a fortress, the castle was later rebuilt into a convent type building in which the Land Marshal of the Liovonian Order resident since 1432. Due to its cultural tourist attraction, the old castle’s walls have been fortified and refurbished many time since the 20th century. The castle eventually opened its walls to visitors in 2012 and now stands as a monument to the Latvian history.
The Rundale Palace is one of the two major baroque palaces for the Dukes of Courland in Latvia. The place was built in two periods, the first in 1736 to 1740 and the second in 1764 to 1768. The palace is incredible representation of the classical art that features a variety of designs found on the walls and architecture of the building. This mathematically systemic pattern is continued throughout the 18th Century Rose Garden, its baroque green amphitheater, and lastly its Rastrelli’s designed fountains.
The Latvian border runs along the Baltic Sea. It is an absolutely incredible sight especially from the bird’s eye view of the Baltic Sea meeting the North Sea.