Swedish Gate and City Wall, Riga

Swedish Gate and City Wall, Riga

The Swedish Gate and the Old City Wall are what's left of the once mighty fortification system that surrounded Riga in the Middle Ages. Much of the complex, built between the 13th and 16th centuries, was destroyed by time or invaders or torn down in the 19th century.

The Swedish Gate is the only city gate still in place, and was built in 1698 by the Swedes, who ruled the city at that time. It stands on the site of the Jürgen tower, a semicircular defensive structure, whose lower part was later built into the nearby house no.11. The apartment above the gate is said to have been, at some point, occupied by an executioner who used to put a red rose in the window each time a convict was beheaded. In 1926, the property was leased from the Society of Architects of Latvia, and rebuilt.

During the Soviet period, the complex underwent two renovations: one in 1953-1956, run by A.A. Reynfeldsa, during which it was extended with a new building, no.13; and another time in 1986-1987, during which it was attached with the freshly built house no.15.

Today, the gate and the walls no longer serve their original fortifying purpose, but merely separate the Old Town from the busy nearby area, packed with bars, restaurants and other businesses.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Riga. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Swedish Gate and City Wall on Map

Sight Name: Swedish Gate and City Wall
Sight Location: Riga, Latvia (See walking tours in Riga)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Riga, Latvia

Create Your Own Walk in Riga

Create Your Own Walk in Riga

Creating your own self-guided walk in Riga is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Riga Old Town Walking Tour

Riga Old Town Walking Tour

The area that is home to present-day Riga has hosted inhabitants since the days of the Vikings. With a sheltered natural harbor nearby, the River Daugava made Riga a stop on the Vikings' Dvina-Dnieper trade route to Byzantium.

Trade allowed the area to flourish, and the Livs, a Finnic tribe, settled it. In the early Middle Ages, the town's economy revolved around fishing, trading, and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Art Nouveau Architecture Walk

Art Nouveau Architecture Walk

An architecture lover in general and that of Art Nouveau in particular will find plenty to look at in the quiet center of Riga. Jūgendstil (Latvian: Art Nouveau) architecture makes up roughly one third of all buildings in the heart of Latvia's capital. In fact, the city boasts the highest concentration of Art Nouveau structures anywhere in the world.

Constructed during a period of rapid...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Historical Churches and Cathedrals

Historical Churches and Cathedrals

One great thing about Riga is that the majority of its religious sites are concentrated in the historic center. A variety of faiths found in the Latvian capital is fairly broad for such a small country and includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Lutheran, to mention but a few.

The 13th-century Riga Cathedral is perhaps the most significant house of prayer in the city. The imposing mix of...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Traveler's Choice of 12 Uniquely Latvian Souvenirs from Riga

Traveler's Choice of 12 Uniquely Latvian Souvenirs from Riga

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