Do you want to taste a freshly salted cucumber? To enjoy real pork chops from the countryside? Buy fresh vegetables? To treat yourself to an eel, smoked just last night? Or to take a truly captivating walk, the likes of which cannot be found anywhere in Europe? All of this is possible by visiting Riga Central Market!
This unique site is found almost in the very heart of Riga, a few dozen steps away from the Old Town of Riga, on the bank of the Daugava, next to Riga Bus Station and Central Railway Station, close to a vivid monument of Soviet architecture −the 21 storey high Academy of Sciences high-rise, it is Riga Central Market, one of the largest markets in Eastern Europe, and it is still functioning – it is visited daily by 80 000 to 100 000 people.
The market is a popular place for shopping, offering almost everything – both products farmed in the Latvian countryside and produced by the farmers themselves and exotic fruit and manufactured goods. The Central Market is renowned for of its pavilions which since the 1920s have been a striking landmark of the city and are an important architectural site. What are these strange buildings, acclaimed by global architects and designers? It turns out that these were originally constructed as military buildings!
In 1998 the vast territory of Riga Central Market was included on the UNESCO Global Heritage List. From the perspective of architecture, the market is interesting not only because of its pavilions, but also the old warehouses, the so-called spīķeri, which are located within the market and next to it. At present, a block of creative industries has been set up in the old warehouses.