Dear Participant of the EVITA Project meeting in Riga! In emergency please call: (+371) 26309006- Ms. Agnese Janova (+371) 29149919 -Ms. Diana Krievina Radisson Blue Hotel Latvia (Reval Hotel Latvia, Elizabetes street 55) http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=elizabetes+55,+R%C4%ABga&daddr=&hl=e n&geocode=&mra=ls&sll=57.066657,24.692741&sspn=5.450376,14.128418&ie=UTF8&z=15 Currency: Latvian currency -- Lats (Ls or LVL) and Santims. 1 Lat (LVL) = 100 Santims 1 Euro ~ 0,714 Lats = 71 Santims You can pay only in LVL in Latvia, except at hotels. There are exchange desk and cash point in the Arrival Hall in the Riga Airport. You can exchange money everywhere - airport, hotels, banks, exchange offices. In almost every street you will find at least one exchange office. In almost all shops and taxi you can pay with your credit card. Information how to reach the City Centre from the Airport. The Riga Airport is located ~ 10 km from the Riga City centre where the Radisson Blue Hotel Latvia (Reval Hotel Latvia) is located (Elizabetes street 55). Taxi: Price from the Riga Airport to city centre ~ 9 Lats (~ 13 Euro). We suggest to take: Air Baltic cab (green car) or Riga Taxi (red car). Please don’t take Mercedes cab in black colour (they are cheating). “Airport Express” minibus provided by “Air Baltic”: Price – LVL 3. Payment is accepted only in cash and in LVL! Frequency – every 30 minutes. (e.g. 10.00, 10.30 etc.) One of the stops – directly at Radisson Blue Hotel Latvia (Reval Hotel Latvia). For more information please visit: www.airbaltic.com/public/airport_express.html. Public transport: Bus No.22, which leaves from Abrenes Street, has direct services between the airport and the city centre. You will get out straight at the terminal on the 2nd level. To get on the bus at the airport look for bus stop located opposite the terminal behind the car park. Frequency: every 10-30 minutes, journey time about 30 minutes. Fare – 70 santims (1EUR) (payment - to the buss driver). Sightseeing places Majority sightseeing places in Riga you can access within easy walking distance from Reval Hotel Latvia. The detailed information about sightseeing places in Riga you can find at following webs: 1. http://www.rigatourism.lv/EN/Channels/Tip/default.htm 2. http://www.dailylatvia.com/ 3. http://www.riga-life.com/guide/tour.php Recommended places to visit outside of the Riga: 1. Jurmala (30km from Riga) – its almost 33 km long white sand beach, large pine forests and the natural border of the city. More information available at http://www.jurmala.lv/page/401 How to go to Jurmala - http://www.jurmala.lv/page/394. To see other place outside Riga - the best option to rent the car to visit or use any of the travel agencies offers. 2. TURAIDA CASTLE - Turaida castle rises above green foliage of trees like mighty ship built of red brick. Forepart of this imaginative ship is formed by northern forecastle gate tower, main tower, which is the highest one is like a spar in the middle of the ship but back of the ship is southern forecastle with towershaped southern section. Building of the castle was started in 1214 according to directions given by Albert, archbishop of Riga in the place where in former times was located wooden castle of Liv leader Kaupo. “Castellum” type fortress was built and named Fredeland in translation it means “Land of Peace”. This name was not popular and till nowadays survived local name – Turaida. Perfection of defensive system of the castle continued also in the next centuries – in 14th century was built towershaped southern section, in the beginning of 15th century when fire arms were invented was built semi rounded western tower. Along with formation of fortifications household buildings and living houses were erected in the inner yard of the castle. Small reconstruction work was carried out in 17th century though castle started to loose its strategically meaning. After fire in 1776 it was not reconstructed and in the course of time it was ruined. In the beginning of 20th century from Turaida castle there were left over separate fragments of defensive wall and some buildings – main tower, semi rounded tower and western section. Since 1976 regular archaeological excavations were carried out which were followed by restoration and conservation works as a result castle regained a part of its initial shape. Exhibitions about history of brick castle and Gauja Livs are available in restored buildings. From the view place of the main tower you can see the unique landscape of picturesque Gauja valley and territory of Turaida Museum Reserve. See the way how to get to Turaida from Riga (~ 50 km): http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=55+Elizabetes+iela,+Riga+LV+1010,+Latvija +(Reval+Hotel+Latvija)&daddr=turaida&hl=en&geocode=FWgPZQMdBgBwASHIEWWAPn17tynx QdQPzs_uRjHJdPchYNgJDw%3BFcSUaAMd4hx7ASl1O2bA2lHpRjHBFVlDzs8AJg&mra=pe&mrc r=0&sll=57.070943,24.480527&sspn=0.340418,0.883026&ie=UTF8&ll=57.070603,24.481659&spn= 0.340418,0.883026&z=10 3. RUNDĀLE CASTLE - Despite its 67 km distance from Riga, Bauska region is one of the most visited by tourists. The main tourist attractions are Mezotne Manor, Bauska Castle and Rundale Palace, which is a marvellous architectural and historical monument. Rundale Palace was designed by and built under the supervision of the outstanding Italian architect Franchesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who designed the Winter Palace and some manors in St. Petersburg. In 1736 the first foundation stone of this baroque palace was laid. Construction was finished by 1740. The first owner of the palace, Ernst Johan Biron, was the Duke of Courland (the previously independant western portion of Latvia), and is remembered for being the favourite lover of the Russian Empress Anna Joanovna. Nothing in Russia happened without Biron’s input. Rundale Palace has 138 premises surrounded by a lovely Baroque park. See the way how to get to Rundāle from Riga (~ 80km): http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=55+Elizabetes+iela,+Riga+LV+1010,+Latvija +(Reval+Hotel+Latvija)&daddr=rund%C4%81le&hl=en&geocode=FWgPZQMdBgBwASHIEWWA Pn17tynxQdQPzs_uRjHJdPchYNgJDw%3B&mra=ls&sll=57.070603,24.481659&sspn=0.340418,0.8 83026&ie=UTF8&z=9 4. Bauska Castle was built in 1443 and was one of the last castles of the Livonian Order. After the Great Northern War, the castle became deserted and local inhabitants secretly began to take bricks from the castle as building material. The walls and one of the towers remained intact over the years, but the remaining four towers have been rebuilt. The fortress ruins and the castle’s central tower viewing platform are open to the public. 5. Mezotne Manor. This Empire-style manor was built in 1802, and was the property of Princess Charlotte von Lieven, a governess of the Russian Emperor Pavil I. The manor is surrounded by an English park. When travelling by car from Riga to Bauska, visitors may wish to stop at the fascinating museum of ancient cars and tractors, which is housed in a hangar, located just at Bauska’s outskirts. The exhibits include a ZIS-110 from 1938, a Wishing you a nice trip to Riga and inspiration for the EVITA Project meeting! Looking forward to see you in Riga!