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Christmas markets in Riga

Christmas markets in Riga

European Christmas markets are a staple for some at this time of the year. You've heard of Berlin's, Munich's and Barcelona's but one you might have missed off the list is Riga in Latvia.

The markets here are definitely one to see. They are spread out across Doma Square, the Esplanade and Liviu Square, where there are mulled wine, roasted almonds and gingerbread on offer. They also have a great selection of winter gifts including candles and warm wooly socks.

Whilst you're in Riga, you should also check out its historic and cultural buildings including the Alberta Iela, a building in the art nouveau style. This wonderful piece of architecture is adorned with serene faces at the top whilst there are screaming masks and goblins adorn below. Each building on this street features different sculptures including lions, griffins and peacocks. There are shocked, sad and surprised faces etched into the building's facade too.

The Rīga Cathedral is also a must visit. This place of worship was founded in 1211 and its style is from anything from the 13th to the 18th centuries as parts of the buildings were added on over the years. There is also a giant 6768-pipe organ installed here as well as the tombs of some of Riga's most noble residents, who would pay heavily to secure a place nearest the altar at this wonderful cathedral.

The Freedom Monument, which sits between Old and Central Rīga, documents an important historical event for the Latvians. Designed by Kārlis Zāle, it was paid for by the public and features granite sculptures of Latvian residents fighting for their freedom whilst Liberty, made out of copper, sits on top of it, holding three stars. These stars represent the three original cultural regions of Latvia - Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale.

Riga - the capital city off Latvia - is served by an International Airport, which has direct flights to over 90 destinations in 30 countries.

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