If you are looking at this map (at the bottom of the description of the route), you are already on the right path! This is the simplest way to see Liepāja and get to know its most important tourist sites. Use this map like a sheet of music and make your ways through Liepāja as if following a melody...
You can start this walking tour from the Tourism Information Office or at any of the sights along that way where you see the musical notes. Why notes – you ask? Because Liepāja is Latvia's capital of music, culture and festivals!
Rožu (Rose) Square is definitely the heart of the city. In the 18th century “The New Market” was located here. In 1910 after moving the market, the municipality decided to establish a garden here, and well-known park designer George Kuphaldt designed the garden which featured 500 roses. After reconstruction in 2000 the emblems of Liepāja's sister cities are placed on the sides of the rose-bed. There are several notable buildings located around the square: the buildings with towers used to be the butchery; ornate was the 19th century Roma Hotel, designed by Liepāja's most famous architect Paul Max Bertschy (now Business Centre “De Rome”). In 1934 the cornerstone of Liepāja Latvian Society house was laid by the President of Latvia Kārlis Ulmanis.
In the Latvian Musicians Walk-of-Fame you will find commemorative bronze plaques dedicated to musicians, current and former groups as well as Latvian music greats who have departed this world to play music in the beyond. On the other side of Kungu Street there is City library. It used to be School for girls.
Creative quarter on Kungu Street is a building complex, which includes both unique 17th century wooden buildings and modernly renovated and equipped Youth House.
Former hotel of Madame Hoyer, popularly dubbed as the House of Peter I, is one of the oldest residential building examples in Liepāja. In 1697 Tsar of All Russia Peter I stayed here incognito.
The building located nearby is a 17th century wooden carcass construction, built on a low stone plinth, with a gabled slate roof. It belongs to the oldest type of buildings in Liepāja. Here reside the “Namīns” folklore center and “Latva” studio, where one can see how folk costume elements are used in everyday clothes.
On the opposite side of the street (Bāriņu Street 33) is located one of the oldest stone buildings in Liepāja – the house of burgomaster Joachim Schröder. The building is a typical residential building example in Liepāja at the turn of 18th century. At the beginning of the 18th century King Carl XII of Sweden repeatedly resided in this building.
Nearby at Dārza Street 4/8 is the House of Craftsmen. You will find here handicrafts of local craftsmen, and the longest amber necklace in the world – 123 metres long and 19,5 kg in weight. In the workshops of craftsmen you will see masters at work. Next to the House of Craftsmen you can visit Applied Art Centre “Dārza iela”.
Kuršu (Courlandian) Square is the oldest square in Liepāja. Since the 16th century this area was a market. One-storey houses, inns and gardens lined the square. In 1910, on the southern end of the square, a new market pavilion with an ornate facade was opened. It is city's central market – Peter's Market. St.Anne's Church is the oldest church in Liepāja – first mentioned in documents in 1508. The impressive 5,8 m wide and 9,7 m high Baroque period altar was built by wood-carving master Nicolas Safrens in 1697. The organ of St.Anne's Church is the 3rd largest in Latvia – after the instruments in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Liepāja and the Dome Cathedral in Rīga.
On the left you can see the former Kurzeme Regional Courthouse – the current home of the Liepāja City Council. Next to Liepāja City Council is St.Joseph's Catholic Cathedral. It used to be a very small church, but in the 19th century it was reconstructed to its present size and shape. The side chapel to the left has remained unchanged from the 18th century. There you can see a model of a sailing ship. It was presented to a church in the 19th century by a crew of sailors as a sign of gratitude – they miraculously survived a terrible storm as they prayed to God.
We offer you two options to choose from how to continue the walk:
1) You may proceed along Tirgoņu Street, then Lielā Street to reach the next stop SOL at Graudu Street. In Graudu Street you can have a look at some of the most beautiful buildings of Art Nouveau style in Liepāja.
Tirgoņu (Tradesmen) Street. This street is famous for its rich history. At the beginning of the 1990s Liepāja had a good musical tradition in the festival “We are for Liepāja”. The money raised in the festival every year was used to fund special projects. Tirgoņu Street was reconstructed after the first festival. This street where there used to be pedestrians, cars and tram traffic was transformed into the 1st pedestrian thoroughfare in Liepāja.
Graudu (Grain) Street is notable of its name, old cobblestone and houses built in the early 20th century. You can see elements of Romanticism, Eclecticism and Art Nouveau in the facades of the houses. At the head of this street there are two impressive buildings from the Soviet era – Liepāja University (former Regional Council Headquarters) and building at Graudu Street 50 (former Communist Party Committee house).
2) Another option is to follow the notes passing by St.Joseph's Cathedral. This route will take you to the Seaside Park. There you will see a number of wooden buildings from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries when Liepāja was a well-known health resort.
Both routes meet again in Kūrmājas Prospect at the stop PAUZE.
Here you can have a look at the largest drums in Latvia – one of objects of environmental design in Liepāja, reminding that Liepāja takes pride in being referred to as the music capital of Latvia. Going further along Peldu Street you will reach the open-air concert stage "Pūt, vējiņi!" (“Blow, wind, blow!”). The most famous rock music festival in the former Soviet Union “Liepājas dzintars” (“Amber of Liepāja”) was held on this stage for 30 years. Close to entrance of the concert stage you can see a memorial site '"Ghost Tree" dedicated to the legandary Liepāja rock band "Līvi".
Liepāja is proud of its Seaside Park. It was developed at the end of the 19th century. The park is 3 km long with the total area of 70 ha and is one of the largest man-made parks in Latvia. From here you can take a brief walk down to the sea. Liepāja beach is covered with fine white sand and after a strong wind you can also find some pieces of amber washed ashore.
The Swan Pond is one of the most romantic places in the Seaside Park. To the left from the Swan Pond there is an interesting building designed by Paul Max Bertschy in 1902 – a Bathhouse. The building has massive columns in facade. At the beginning of the 20th century Liepāja was a renowned health resort. The structure was functioning up to 1978.
Looking to the left you can see the Monument to commemorate sailors lost at sea, featuring a woman looking to the sea and waiting for her son, husband, beloved one …
There is a wide street leading from the Seaside Park to the city centre - Kūrmājas Prospect. Exquisite houses lining on both sides of Kūrmājas Prospect were put up at the end of the19th and at the beginning of the 20th century. They were owned by aristocrats and wealthy people.
All along the length of Kūrmājas Prospect you will see the bronze sculptures – the images of Liepāja anthem. Liepāja Museum is located at Kūrmājas Prospect 16/18.
Kūrmājas Prospect is a street where Liepāja's tram once led the higher class residents of the city to the city's swimming areas. There you can see a number of Art Nouveau buildings: Liepāja State Gymnasium No 1 (Ausekļa Street 9), former Liepāja Navigation School (Kūrmājas Prospect 3), former Russian-East Asian Shipping Company – now the Regional Courthouse (Kūrmājas Prospect 2/6). From 1906 for 18 years a direct ship line between Liepāja and New York City was established. Each year approximately 40000 people emigrated to “the land of dreams”. Boatman sculpture in bronze is one of the images of Liepāja anthem. You will see other images all along the length of Kūrmājas Prospect.
By the way, this is a perfect place to take a break during the inspection of Liepāja’s landmarks and relax at the nearby located cafe “Galerija” or one of the restaurants – “Bel Cibo” and “Vecais kapteinis”.
Vecā Ostmala was a closed territory for the majority of Liepāja's residents during the soviet era. The Promenade draws your attention to the docks, ships and yachts in the area. The Amber Clock symbolically counts unforgettable time spent in Liepāja!
Tirdzniecības (Trade) Canal. Liepāja's port was already known in the 14th century. It has operated as a modern sea-going ship port since the end of the 17th century when the canal was dug. During soviet times the port did not operate as a trading and cargo port. The modern architecture buiolding in the colour of amber is the largest concert hall in the region - Great Amber .On the other side of Lielā Street is a fancy building with towers – Recreation Centre “Libava” or, as the locals call it, the Black Ball. It was once Customs House but the black ball warned locals of the imminence of a storm at sea.
When strolling down the Lielā Street, check out the Jāņa Street – a romantic narrow street, one of the oldest streets in the city with historical storage buildings.
Finally, the notes will lead you to the city's most significant house of worship – Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. The church was built during 1742-1758 for a German congregation. The Cathedral is noteworthy for its organ, which is the largest mechanical organ in the world. The organ has 131 registers, 4 manuals and more than 7,000 pipes. The interior of the church is rich and lavish in its decor. Organ music concerts and annual organ music festival take place in the church. Use the opportunity to climb up to the top of the church tower and enjoy a wonderful view over the city!
- Map of the route EN
- Map of the route LV
- Map of the route RUS
- Map of the route LIT
- Map of the route GER