When architects Otto Dietze and Johann Daniel Felsko redesigned the centre of Riga in 1856, they chose one of the most exposed and significant spots in town for the new theatre: it was to be erected near the city’s canal, on the grounds of the former bastion of the city’s fortifications. In 1860, the design by architect Ludwig Bohnstedt was deemed the best of all for Riga’s new theatre. The building was opened in 1863. The great fire of 1882 destroyed the major part of the building. Riga’s chief architect Reinholds Schmaeling was in charge of the reconstruction Project which strictly followed Bohnstedt’s original design. The reconstruction, along with several improvements, was completed in 1887.
The following years saw many improvements and renovations on the original design with the most recent addition in 2001. (taken from the LNOH Webpage)
The opera house is home to both opera and the national ballet. Our group of eleven enjoyed a narrated tour of the entire building from the stage to the high level seats in the gods, the practice rooms and the many nooks and crannies around the place. I think the guide stated this opera house is the third largest in the world. It was certainly beautiful and we enjoyed the tour immensely. It was a welcome break from the many cathedrals and palaces we have visited.
Tour Photos (I left the best photo until last.)
And Last But Not Least……………………….