Foto by Robert B Fishman

Riga is the largest city in the Baltics and the capital of Latvia. Once called the ”Paris of the North”, it is an architectural gem of medieval houses with Gothic gabled roofs, Renaissance guild houses, Baroque homes of the wealthy, and Art Nouveau housing by Jewish architect Mikhail Eisenstein, being able to compete  to that of Prague, Vienna or Barcelona. Distinguished jewish philosophers of the 20th century Yeshayahu Leibovich and Sir Isaiah Berlin, film director Sergej Eizenstein, world chess chempion Mikhail Tal, photographer Philippe Halsman have been living here. It is possible to visit the Riga Synagogue (Peitav Shul) – the only synagogue that survived the Nazi period, and is still in use today. Here you can learn how the Torah scrolls were saved.


The Maskavas suburb with its unique wooden housing is the historical Jewish square. Never before a ghetto until the Nazi years, thought Maskavas forstadt became the main area of Jewish settlement in the 19th century. The first Jewish secular school is nows operating as a private Jewish school. Likewise the historical Jewish hospital Bikur Holim is still in use. The site of the Great Choral Synagogue (Die Greise Hor Shul, Gogol Shul) now is a memorial, and evidence of the Nazi inhumanities brings back memory of many people who have helped to save Jewish lives. The old Jewish cemetery, Rumbula and Biķernieki forests, where mass murders were carried out, now are memorials and a place of contemplation. Riga ghetto museum, located on the border of former ghetto territory, isone of the rare places in Europe that experienced no architectional changes, and small wooden houses where people lived, still stand there. Names of more than 70 000 holocaust victims are engraved in the walls of a museum. More info on


Kosher meal next door at Lehaim restaurant in the Jewish Community Center and museum on Skolas street are available. This excursion will take 3-4 hours.


For more information and bookings call +371 29218560 or send e-mail:


Other trips also available:


#Jews #heritage #Riga #Latvia #guidedtours #localguide #jewishhistory