Now reasserting its proud Baltic heritage after the return of Latvia’s independence, this ancient Hanseatic river-port is the largest city of the Baltic States and a showcase for the restored Old Riga with its cobbled pedestrian streets, towers and spires of medieval churches and venerable facades of gabled 17th century German merchants’ homes. It is surrounded by a moat and contains several medieval buildings, including a 13th-century cathedral and guild halls from the 14th century. Riga is still historically and architecturally fascinating.

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