The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Rīga is Burning

It would appear that the kind folks of Latvia have something of a problem. Reuters explains the situation thusly:

RIGA (Reuters) – Hundreds of youths destroyed police vehicles, smashed windows and looted stores in Latvia's capital Tuesday when an anti-government protest turned into a riot.

The violence, after a peaceful protest [Ed.:—How many times must I hear this canard?] by thousands calling for early elections in a country which last year had to seek a multi-billion economic rescue deal, was the worst seen since the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991.


"There was a nice event and then when it finished people decided to go and express their anger and destroy the parliament and then it all spread through Old Riga," said Anna Gulbe, 19, referring to the picturesque historic part of the capital city.

Once police had control of the area around parliament, a large group of rioters began roaming through the city center, smashing storefronts and office windows with cobblestones dug up from the streets. Windows at the Finance Ministry and several other buildings were shattered.

This really is a tragic event—Riga is perhaps one of the most beautiful cities on the entire planet, and the Latvians are, to an American tourist such as myself, some of the friendliest.

Of course, not being one to make such a statement without backing it up, I will now proceed to post some of my best photos from Riga below the fold, just to prove it to you. (And heavens no, I wouldn't even think of doing this just to prove that Snapped Shot is a photo blog! Besides, that contest is over already... ;) )This first picture is the seat of the Latvian government, which is where the riot started (if I'm reading the Reuters report correctly).

Click on the picture to launch the slideshow. The rest will follow.

The Latvian Parliament meets here, in Rigas Domas ("Riga House," I think)

A building right next door to Parliament. It looks considerably older.
Part of the reconstructed defense wall that surrounds Old Riga.
As with other older European cities, the streets are quite narrow.
The cathedrals of Riga are a significant part of the city's history, and are always present around you.
Relaxed European city life, in plazas small....
... And big alike.
The city has plenty of what I like to call "Creepy Germanic Architecture," for those of you who are big fans of that stuff.
Yes, that's a cat on the roof. Don't ask, just support your local unions.
We ran into the President of this fine country right on the street. The guy walking in our direction is presumably her security, who wasn't particularly pleased with me.
The Anglican (I think) Church of Riga, which according to a sign on the door, is the only English-language church in the city. (Or maybe that was the "oldest." My memory fades...)
The French embassy. It even looks French.
Here's a part of "new" Riga, which isn't that much less impressive than "old" Riga.

See? It really is that beautiful!

All photographs presented here are Copyright © 2006, Brian C. Ledbetter. Permission might be granted for the use thereof—It never hurts to ask!



#1 captainfish 14-Jan-2009
hahahahaha.. I love buildings that have character. The Face of Moge and the Cat on the Tin Roof was awesome.

Nice pics there Brian. How long were you there? Was this a European tour?
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