Riga Jewish city tour
10:00 AM - Riga historic center
Join us for the Riga Jewish City Tour, exploring the rich heritage and captivating stories of the Jewish community in Riga. Our journey begins at the renowned Peitavas Street Synagogue, a stunning Art Nouveau masterpiece and one of the few of its kind worldwide. Learn how Jewish people came to Riga and discover their initial settlements in the city. Next, we’ll delve into the architectural splendor of the Synagogue, designed by the talented Wilhelm Neumann. This 120-year-old place of worship has been operational throughout history, enduring even the dark years of Nazi occupation and Soviet rule.
As we continue our tour, stroll along Richarda Vagnera Street and unravel the controversy surrounding R. Vagner’s personality. Make a fascinating stop near the house of Phillipe Halsman, the renowned American portrait photographer. Discover why he spent two years in prison and the intriguing connection he had with Salvador Dali.
Rich Jewish heritage of Riga takes us to the iconic “Laima Clock,” an embellishment that has graced Riga’s central street since 1936, representing the beloved Latvian chocolate brand, Laima. Prepare to be enthralled at the impressive Jewish theater, now home to the Jewish Community and its institutions, including the Jews of Latvia Museum. During our journey, we can pause for a delightful lunch break at the kosher restaurant “7:40.”
After lunch, we’ll head to the Riga Ghetto Museum, founded in 2010 by Rabbi Menachem Barkan, leader of Riga’s Shamir Jewish community. Experience a vibrant exhibition showcasing captivating stories and intriguing artifacts. Our exploration continues to the Riga Jewish quarter and the former ghetto in the Moscow district. Commemorate the Choral Synagogue, tragically burned by a Latvian nationalist unit on July 4, 1941. Today, a remarkable monument stands as a solemn reminder of the darkest chapter in the local Jewish history. Within the same park, we’ll discover the stories of Latvians who bravely resisted the Nazis. Pay homage to these heroes at the Whitewall monument of Latvian Righteous Among the Nations and learn the story of Janis Lipke, one of the Latvian heroes, who saved over 50 Jews.
In Part 3, we embark on a drive through the ghetto streets, where we’ll encounter the first Riga synagogue, the “Alte Noye shul.” We’ll also make a stop at the Jewish hospital “Bicur Holim,” where the skilled Dr. Vladimirs Mincs once practiced medicine. Notably, he successfully operated on Lenin after the assassination attempt by Fannie Kaplan. On the outskirts of the city, we’ll encounter the former Jewish cemetery, a solemn remnant of the past. Regrettably, the city authorities desecrated it and created the “Park of Communistic Brigades” on its site. Here the story leads us to the somber sites of the Riga Jews’ massacres in Rumbula and Bikiernieki, where we’ll pay our respects to the Holocaust victims. Additionally, we’ll visit the labor camps of Kaizerwald and Salaspils—sites destroyed by the Nazis to erase evidence of their heinous crimes. In Salaspils, a remarkable memorial was created in 1967, serving as a testament to the monumental art of a totalitarian regime.
Concluding our journey, we visit the Janis Lipke Museum on Kipsala. Explore the inspiring story of Janis Lipke, a national hero in Latvia, who valiantly saved over 40 Jews during the Holocaust. His remarkable tale serves as a poignant reminder of the power of choice and being a force for good.
- Walking tour
- Guide service
- Walking tour
- Guide service
A walking tour dedicated to the iconic Riga Art Nouveau architecture.