At the start of the 20th century many cities were showing increased interest in their history. For the Riga 700 year celebration exhibition, this interest materialized as a hypothetical reconstruction of its medieval architecture made from wood and plaster. It was located by the city canal, next to today's Congress hall.
Project author was Riga city architect August Reinberg with help of Vilheim Neiman and artist Ernest Tode. It was based on 16th - 18th century medieval engravings and the artwork of Johann Christoph Brotze. Project construction started on the spring of 1901 and was completed in a few months, next to reconstruction of little Venice.
The city consisted of a city hall and square, a column of shame, working well, weight house and a group of residential buildings that were encircled by fortification walls and five towers. The buildings were filled with various shops and restaurants.
The life of this medieval city was short lived as it was
demolished soon after the end of the exhibition. Testimony of its
presence remains in its project illustrations, post cards and
The best representation of medieval Riga can be seen from
16.-18. century wood and copper engravings featuring the cities
panorama, that has similarly served as symbol for many European
Throughout the medieval period Rigas panoramic dominants had stayed the same - the high church towers, castle and the thick city walls. Due to the fact that Riga suffered from many fires, wars and reconstructions, only a dozen buildings and a small part of the fortifications has remained. The Gothic houses have been slowly replaced by Baroque, Renaissance and modern architecture.
Riga 1499, J.K. Broce after Helms chronicle