Virtual Tour of Riga, “The Paris of the North”
Join us for a virtual walking tour of Riga (the capital of the Baltic region), led by CSP’s favorite Baltic guide – Daniel Gurevich.
Once dubbed the ‘Paris of the North,’ Riga is an architectural gem replete with medieval houses, Gothic gabled roofs, Renaissance guild houses, lavish Baroque homes, and Art Nouveau housing designed by Jewish architect Mikhail Eisenstein, on a par with the architecture of Vienna or Barcelona. It is a city recently emerged from behind the Iron Curtain, still playing catch-up with the rest of western Europe. Contrasts abound.
A five minute walk from the historic Old Town (declared a UNESCO site in 1997) will take you either to stunning Art Nouveau architecture or crumbling wooden houses, to a modern architectural masterpiece or a monstrous soviet eyesore. The Jewish history of Riga reaches as far back as the 13th century, but it wouldn’t be for at least 200 more years that Jews would make an economic impact.
An interesting fact, in the late 1920s, Riga became the center of the global Lubavitch movement due to its leader, R. Yosef Yitzhak Schneerson, receiving citizenship and protection by the Latvian government after being exiled from the Soviet Union.
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