Sand TowerOne of the most important fortification inancient Riga’s walls ‘cause it guardedcities gate to the west. First it was knownas Sand Tower and first mentioned inyear 1330. It was named as Sand Tower‘cause of dunes in front of it. But then in15th century it was reconstructed forweapon storing. Since 17th century tonow days we know it as Powder Tower‘cause then city’s garrison started to storegunpowder in it. Within its 3 meter heavywalls for some years city’s prison andtorture chambers was situated. In nowdays there is museum of war Author: Rihard Tīrums
Triangula Bastion history-Rīga,Lativa• From its foundation in 1201 Riga always had fortification wall system surrounding it. In the 16th and 17th centuries a new type of defensive system was developed in Riga to protect town against artillery attack. The territory of the present Old Riga was surrounded with an earthen rampart. Positioned at the corners of the rampart and the major gates were projecting polygonal fortifications – bastions. In the moat in front of these, artificial fortified triangular islands – ravelins – were built. A separate fortress, the Citadel on the bank of the Daugava downstream from the castle, provided additional protection. All this made Riga one of the strongest fortified centers on the eastern shore of Baltic Sea.• Over the course of time, the fortification systems were improved: the outer walls of the defenses were faced with stone blocks, the moat was broadened and forward defenses were added in front of the rampart. As firearms developed, the fortifications gradually lost their importance and began to hinder urban development. Between 1857 and 1864 the wall was taken down. Only part of the moat was preserved to form the city canal, and an artificial mound, called Bastejkalns, was thrown up at the site of the former Sand Bastion.• The Triangula Bastion, the smallest though highest of the bastions, was reconstructed in 1727. The fortification was pentagonal in plan, open on the side facing the town. The width of the Bastion at the city rampart reached 61 meters, while the distance from rampart to the outermost point 35 meters. The bastion wall was 7–8 meters high, built at an angle of 50-70 degrees. It was faced with blocks of pink and grey dolomite. Behind decorative blocks, the 2,1 meter thick wall itself was built of rough grey dolomite. Inside the fortified area there was another, inner wall repeating the shape of the outer wall and separated from it by a distance of 5 – 11 meters. The space between the walls was filled with sand.
Riga Castle• Riga castle is the symbol and home of Latvian secular authority. The Castle’s construction began in 1330 as the construction of the residen ce for Master of Livonian Order. Inner dissents resulted in the degradation of the previous residence, White Stone Castle, belonging to the Master of the Livonian Order, and the inhabitants of Riga were forced to build a new one. When the Master’s residence moved to Cesis in 1484, the citizens of Riga raised the castle again, and after some time it was rebuilt once again. Originally the castle was fortress-like 3 story building with an inner courtyard and four towers. During the renovation of the castle in 1495–1515 two towers were altered, the interior was wrapped with cellule and stellar arches, above the gates were placed sculptural relief of the order’s patroness, St. Mary, and the order’s master, Valter von Pletenberg. The largest rebuilding took place in XVIII and XIX centuries. In 1783 the main structure of the castle was rebuilt, a three story construction, to serve the needs of Riga Province’s authority. In 1818 at the castle’s front the premises for the general province’s representation were erected for governor-general of Vidzeme. In 1938 the castle’s front premises was renovated and furnished to the needs of the president of Latvia. Since 1995 the President of Latvia is using the restored government’s premises. Some parts of the castle house museums and other cultural institutions.•
Swedish Gate• Swedish Gate is one of Old Town sights, located next to another one famous Riga sight Jacobs Barracks. Swedish Gate was one of the eight gates in Riga Defensive Wall. This gate was built in 1698 making way through already built house. All gates in Riga were opened at sunrise, and closed down at sunset.