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Ringing in the week of the Latvian National Holidays, the restored historical facade of Riga Castle has been fully unveiled


As part of the restoration and reconstruction project of the oldest convent (kastel) of Riga Castle implemented by SJSC “State Real Estate” (SRE), the restoration works of the historical facade have been completed. The restoration project of the castle, which started two years ago, continues, but the historically magnificent facade has now been fully restored and is open to the public, informs Renārs Griškevičs, Chairman of the Board of SRE.

Ringing in the week of the National Holidays and celebrating Independence Day together with the entire of Latvia, the facade of the renovated Riga Castle has been fully unveiled and will be illuminated during the week of national holidays, so that residents and visitors can see it even in the darkest hours of the day.

“The restored facade, which has been tonally aligned with lazure painting and enriched with accurately reproduced window trim, is the most attractive of all the facades of Riga Castle. As the national holidays are approaching, there is no better way to remind the Latvian public of the national and symbolic significance of Riga Castle and its restoration than by highlighting and illuminating it in a special way”, says Ojārs Spārītis, Head of the Monuments Council.

“During the restoration of the facade, we discovered an unknown historical testimony under the plaster – an aesthetically valuable 16th century historical wall and decided to preserve it and display it to the public. Riga Castle has an immeasurable cultural and historical value – the true magnitude of the castle is gradually coming into focus as the restoration progresses. We are discovering historical evidence step by step, and the project includes many such turning points dictated by the historical evidence,” says R. Griškevičs.

Up to now, the castle has revealed varied historical evidence of its origins. The most significant of them are the 600-year-old hot air or hypocaust oven, evidence of historical finishing from different periods of construction, and previously unidentified wall paintings in the chapel and Remters Hall. With each passing day of renovation and restoration work, the chances of discovering new historical evidence are getting smaller; however, the interior of the castle is now beginning to take shape as visitors will see it in 2024. Communications have been built in the risers and floor of the castle, assembly works of metal structures for the lift shaft have started, the construction of plasterboard structures in separating walls and ceilings continues, as well as the flooring work in some rooms is taking place. In the coming months, the mezzanine floor covering of the historic Remters Hall will be removed and its original spaciousness restored.

As restoration and renovation works continue, SRE will carry out restoration works of Daugava Gāte – the basement wall of the southern part of the historic convent (kastel) of Riga Castle will be uncovered and natural light will return to the basement of the castle for the first time in 400 years. Until 25 November, every construction contractor has the opportunity to apply to the Daugava Gāte restoration project tender and contribute to the restoration of the historical splendour of Riga Castle. As part of the renovation works, the heat supply networks of JSC “Rīgas Siltums” will also be rebuilt so that they can be connected to the rainwater sewerage mechanical, electrical and plumbing networks, the street level in Daugava Gāte lowered at Piper’s Tower to Horn’s Bastion, and a bridge will be built to allow access to the main entrance of the museum.

The total area of the kastel of Riga Castle construction project is 11.9 thousand square metres, of which 6.7 thousand square metres will be renovated, and of which 4.4 thousand will be put into operation. The remaining 5.2 thousand square metres in the first and second phases will not be renovated – it is planned to implement it in the next phases of the castle’s reconstruction. While the construction works take place in the castle, the public has the opportunity to watch the latest video from SRE's video story series “Buildings and Legends” about the restoration project of the kastel of Riga Castle here.

Under the supervision of SRE, JSC “LNK Industries” is carrying out the construction of the first and second rounds of the convent of Riga Castle by investing the state budget funding attracted by the Ministry of Culture. The total project budget is almost 22 million euros. The restoration of the convent of Riga Castle is carried out according to the construction project developed by GP “Rīgas Pils Kastelas projekts”. It is planned that the project will be completed in 2024, and the National History Museum of Latvia will be able to return to its historic home, as well as open part of the exposition to the public. In the next stage of the project, the remaining convent premises will be restored and rebuilt in order to accommodate the main exposition of Latvian history in the castle.