Riga has the potential to create several tourism and creative quarter routes, connecting various objects and creating an opportunity for both city residents and guests to enjoy a rich environmental, cultural, historical, gastronomic and entertainment program.
One of Riga's potential creative routes is the Matīsa Market - Tallinn Street Quarter - the Great Cemetery, which was visited this week by deputies of the Riga City Council City Development Committee, department specialists and representatives of non-governmental organizations.
"We intend to create a continuous route in the coming year, with relatively small investments. Some of the plans have already been implemented, but a separate section is missing, so we all got acquainted with the most problematic places and talked about possible solutions together,” points out Inese Andersone, Chairwoman of the City Development Committee.
The potential of Vidzeme or Matīsa market was first evaluated. Together with representatives of "Rīgas Centrāltirgus", the possibilities of using both the wide square in the middle of the market and possibilities to restore the historical pavilions were discussed. “We need to understand why the market works in other places in the city, but in this place the interest has disappeared from both traders and visitors, ”admitted Andersone.
Both public and private partnership projects, the organization of cultural events and the involvement of public benefit organizations were mentioned as possible solutions for reviving the market.
Deputies further evaluated the creative possibilities on Miera iela. "Miera iela has all the potential to become a connection and a quartal of the creative route. There already are cafes, shops, and the fon Stricka villa in the Tallinn Street Quarter. In two years, LMA Maker space on Alojas iela and the Academy of Culture Tobacco Factory will gather a lot of creative people here,” the chairwoman of the committee pointed out.
"Miera iela will become a main connection for creative people, but currently it does not have paved roads, bicycle infrastructure, and improvements would be needed at the intersection of Tallinas iela / Alojas iela and Briāna iela, as well as to improve the urban environment throughout the quarter," stressed Andersone.
Representatives of the Brasa neighbourhood association, the Great Cemetery activists, the Riga Monument Agency, Rigas meži, the Housing and Environment Department, Rigas gaismas and the Riga Municipal Police joined the group of deputies and representatives of the City Development Department in the architectural memorial ensemble of national significance “Lielie kapi” (the Great Cematery) and a meeting of the Commission for Cultural and Historical Heritage was held, led by Rita Našeniece.
Representatives of the neighbourhood association and the Great Cemetery activists emphasized that the Great Cemetery is a unique cultural and historical heritage object in the Baltics and has irreplaceable significance in the life of the surrounding neighbourhoods as a memorial, "silent park", recreation and green island.
“The interest of tourists in this object is very great, the Great Cemetery feeds the whole guide industry and in summer the tourist groups follow each other. Brasa's cultural initiatives have been played here - Brasa, Pumpurs, Power performances, the Church of the Resurrection has hosted both Museum Night and Church Night events. At present, the cemetery has become a favourite for filmmakers. The object is often filmed in English, German and Russian internet resources, but its deplorable condition is also mentioned,” says Našeniece.
During the talks, the needs of the Great Cemetery were shown and the possibilities of rescue and development were discussed. The participants of the external meeting also visited the underground part of the classical tomb mausoleum of the Pihlau family. "One of the most frequently asked questions by visitors is whether we can get to the tomb and it makes us think that this would be an exciting tourism opportunity, after the reconstruction of historical mausoleums," emphasizes R. Našeniece.
During the meeting, it was decided to arrange the way of managing this monument of national significance, to systematically identify the needs and create an investment plan, under the supervision of the Riga Monument Agency.
Information was prepared by: Mārtiņš Vilemsons, Project Coordinator of Riga City Council Communications Department, tel: 67026231, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.