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The Riga Castle

The Riga Castle

The Riga Castle was constructed in 1330, as residence of Master of the Livonian Order. Originally, it was a fortified construction with a courtyard and four towers. Many times the Riga castle was destroyed and restored by dwellers of the city. During restoration of the castle in 1491-1515, Lead Tower was added to it, which has kept its original forms up to now. After liquidation of the Livonian Order in 1562, separate fortified sections of the castle gradually lost their meaning, and the castle was included into a system of the city’s protection.

In the beginning of XVIII century, defensive moat around the castle was filled up, and in the end of XVIII century near the castle a square was created that bears the same name.

In XVIII and XIX centuries, the castle underwent numerous reconstructions. During the reconstruction of 1785-1787, a three-storey building for provincial establishments was added to the castle; and in 1818 another facility enriched it – Imperial Hall, which was purposed for the Vidzeme Governor–General. Because of its light color design, the Imperial Hall is also called the White Hall.

In 1930s, Tower of Three Stars and Red Hall were added to the castle and the facilities of the castle were refashioned according to needs of the President of the country.

In 1958–1962, the Lead Tower, the White and Red Halls were partially reconstructed.

Now in the castle’s facilities there are Historical Museum of Latvia, Museum of Foreign Art and Museum of Literature and Art named after Rainis.

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