Kalnciema Quarter offers guided tours of Pārdaugava to the residents and visitors of Riga.
Currently, there are two routes available if you want to learn more about this part of Riga: - "Kalnciema Quarter " and "Pārdaugava Wooden Architecture ".
Kalnciema Quarter also offers independent guided tours to visitors. The audio guide for residents and guests of Riga (both groups and individually) is available at Kalnciema Quarter Wine Shop&Cafe from Monday to Saturday from 10 AM until 10 PM.
Tour of Kalnciema Quarter
In the 19th century, Riga was a wooden city with a heart of stone – there were 12 thousand wooden buildings in the suburbs of Riga at the time. Despite fires and wars, Riga has retained 4000 of these houses - more than any other European city.
A visit to Kalnciema Quarter tells the story typical of the suburbs of Riga with the challenges the wooden architecture has been exposed to in the Soviet times and during the1990ies, when the wave of modernisation swept away many of the old buildings. The owners of Kalnciema Quarter, themselves born and raised in Pārdaugava, were among the first to appreciate the emotional and aesthetic value of the outwardly humble facades. One after another, they acquired 6 buildings at the crossroads, giving them a new lease of life - a modern function and purpose, with due respect to their venerable age.
Today, the restored cultural and historical heritage is the pride of the local community, recognised as an important feature of Riga's urban identity. The openness of Kalnciema Quarter to the public has a lot to do with it. There are many high-profile renovated objects in Riga; however, most of them are private property, closed to the public. Kalnciema Quarter extends a friendly welcome to the residents and visitors alike, engaging hundreds of people in various delightful, educational outdoor and indoor activities.
Kalnciema Quarter was built at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries - the golden age of wooden architecture in Riga. Over a brief period, one after another, the wooden carcass buildings were constructed, their facades quoting classicism, national romanticism and Swiss chalet style. Our visitors can pore over the materials revealing the renovation process of the buildings, immerse themselves in the timeless atmosphere of glass verandas, green courtyards, take a peek into the former Green Building (now turned brown), currently under reconstruction, and on Saturdays sample the ecologically grown local goods in the Saturday farmer and artisan market.
Tour guide - art historian and Riga architectural history researcher Inga Karlštrēma.
Duration - 1.5 h, price, including degustation - 18 EUR per person, excluding degustation - 9 EUR per person. Language: Latvian or English.
Special reservations for groups from 15 persons (email: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Tour of Pārdaugava Wooden Architecture
The tour gives a chance of a closer, more educated look into the secrets of the wooden architecture so characteristic of Riga's suburbia, its development from individual manor houses constructed of logs in the 17th and 18th centuries, into the golden age of wooden residential houses in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
During the tour, the history unfolds - the conditions and circumstances of survival of these buildings until today, despite the challenges of the Soviet times and the 1990ies, the transformation of public opinion over the last 15 years about living in wooden buildings and their value. The inhabitants of Pārdaugava today pride themselves in the rediscovered cultural and historical heritage.
Duration - 1.5 h, price - 10 EUR per person.
Approximate walking distance - 1.5 km, starting point - Kalnciema Quarter, the walk encompasses the surrounding area and the streets near Kalnciema Quarter.
Language: Latvian or English.
Special reservations for groups from 15 persons.