Kalnciema Quarter - the place for cultural events: arts and crafts, cultural events, food and architectural heritage.
To add colour and suburban flavour to your days in Riga, visit Kalnciema Quarter – the ensemble of renovated wooden buildings, which harbours the history from the end of the 19th century. What is hidden from the eye of the beholder who passes by, reveals itself here – a courtyard with a secret restaurant, wine shop and cafe, small orchard, an art gallery, and at times – live performances, street food and a food and crafts market.
Kalnciema Quarter is a bright and lively spot in Riga, on the left bank of the Daugava River, in the green and colourful area of Pārdaugava. Six renovated buildings of Kalnciema Quarter, located at the crossing of Kalnciema and Melnsila Streets are a part of Riga’s wooden architecture heritage dating back to the 19th century and representing the epoch of the late Classicism in Europe. Architecture admirers are welcomed to wonder around the Quarter, as well as take a guided tour.
Kalnciema Quarter regularly hosts events for families, art exhibitions, plays, open-air concerts, and educational events, the Quarter is opened to everyone free of charge. Foodies may seek new food experiences in the restaurant, wine shop and cafe, as well as join the newest movement - Street Food festival. However, Kalnciema Quarter is particularly famous for its Saturday food and crafts market, where customers will find foods of biological origin, and unique creations of Latvian crafters. Admission: free of charge
Wooden architecture, art gallery, wine bar and more daily 10am-10pm,
Street Food Festival on Wednesday (May-September) 6pm-11pm;
Open Air Concerts on Thursday (May-September) 5pm-11pm;
Food and Crafts Market on Saturday 10am-4pm.
Food and crafts market
Kalnciema Quarter has been accommodating all season food and crafts market since 2008. The market gathers more than a hundred local producers and a couple of thousand visitors, bringing a feeling of festivity.
The trademark of the market is the quality of its wares – foods of biological and Latvian origin, unique and attractive creations of local artists, designers and artisans – the goods not to be found on the shelves of supermarkets. As the diversity of creative enterprises in Latvia grows, the market becomes a meeting point for those, who wish to present their fresh business ideas to a wider public for appreciation. Hence, it is the place where one can seek new ideas and unique solutions every Saturday.
Along with weekly trading and shopping, the market is a place to celebrate seasonal, geographic and design milestones – almost every Saturday the fair is devoted to a particular event or theme, which is richly represented in the versatile assortment of goods.
An integral part of the markets is a variety of activities for families with children - creative workshops, mastering ancient crafts, plays, concerts, science events, book openings, seasonal festivities and other events.
Admission: free of charge
Opening hours: every Saturday 10am-4pm
Kalnciema Quarter frequently hosts different art exhibitions, workshops, performances as well as various events and classes for children. In summers, the courtyard provides an ideal venue for open-air concerts, which have become a beloved tradition and boast a unique atmosphere. The Quarter is opened to everyone free of charge
Open air concerts
Kalnciema Quarter might be the most popular place in Riga on Thursday night. Since 2010, every Thursday evening, from May until September, the courtyard surrounded by wooden buildings hosts open-air concerts.
In Kalnciema Quarter you can listen to popular bands and emerging stars from Latvia and abroad. The concerts are well attended due to the quality program and the special atmosphere of a summer evening in the suburbia. It is a good occasion to enjoy al fresco drinks and healthy food served by the local caterers.
Opening hours: every Thursday (May-September) 5pm-11pm
The wooden houses of the late Classicism period, built at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, are a unique feature of Riga – not represented at such a scale in any other city of the world. The six buildings of Kalnciema Quarter were built at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries - the golden age of wooden architecture in Riga. Over a brief period the wooden carcass buildings were constructed, their facades quoting classicism, national romanticism and Swiss chalet style. All six wooden houses used to be residential buildings and had several owners. Due to the nationalization of property, the buildings became the property of the state during the Soviet era and were converted into communal flats. After restoration of Latvia’s independence, the properties were returned to their former owners.
In 2001, the current owners of Kalnciema Quarter, brothers Mārtiņš and Kārlis Dambergs, ventured to give a new life to the wooden buildings, whose façade and interiors were ravaged by time and unkind treatment. After a thorough research of the renovation methods and hard work, the area was ready to be opened for the public. Today, Kalnciema Quarter welcomes approximately 100 thousand visitors annually. The creation, preservation, and accessibility of such inviting and welcoming open space has helped to promote the awareness and understanding of Riga's wooden architecture, heritage and value.
Admission: free of charge
Opening hours: daily 10am-10pm
Kalnciema Quarter offers guided tours of Pārdaugava to the residents and visitors of Riga.
Currently, there are two routes available if you want to learn more about this part of Riga: "Kalnciema Quarter" and "Pārdaugava Wooden Architecture".
Tour of Kalnciema Quarter and/or Audio Guide
In the 19th century, Riga was a wooden city with a heart of stone – there were 12 thousand wooden buildings in the suburbs of Riga at the time. Despite fires and wars, Riga has retained 4 thousand of these houses – more than any other European city. Six wooden buildings comprises the so called Kalnciema Quarter.
The wooden carcass buildings of Kalnciema Quarter were constructed at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries. The facades of buildings quote classicism, national romanticism and Swiss chalet style. A visit to Kalnciema Quarter tells the story typical of the suburbs of Riga with the challenges the wooden architecture has been exposed to in the Soviet times and during the 1990ies, when the wave of modernisation swept away many of the old buildings.
Today, the restored cultural and historical heritage is the pride of the local community, recognised as an important feature of Riga's urban identity. Kalnciema Quarter extends a friendly welcome to the residents and visitors alike, engaging hundreds of people in various delightful, educational outdoor and indoor activities. Visitors can pore over the materials revealing the renovation process of the buildings, immerse themselves in the timeless atmosphere of glass verandas, green courtyards and take a peek into the former Green Building.
Tour of Pārdaugava Wooden Architecture
The tour gives a chance of a closer, more educated look into the secrets of the wooden architecture so characteristic of Riga's suburbia, its development from individual manor houses constructed of logs in the 17th and 18th centuries, into the golden age of wooden residential houses in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
During the tour, the history unfolds – the conditions and circumstances of survival of these buildings until today, despite the challenges of the Soviet times and the 1990ies, the transformation of public opinion over the last 15 years about living in wooden buildings and their value.
Admission: please e-mail Kalnciema Quarter for information
Duration: 1.5 h
Language: Latvian or English
Wine shop and cafe
Kalnciema Quarter is a home of the Wine Shop and Cafe – a place of tranquillity and repose where one can enjoy good wine, a cup of sustaining coffee or cocoa, converse with friends or discuss business matters. In summer, the tasty coffee and Italian wines from the small vineyards of Marche region can also be enjoyed in the orchard under an apple tree.
The premises are family friendly.
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 10am10pm
Street Food Festival
The newest and one of the trendiest movements in Kalnciema Quarter is Street Food Festival. Gourmets are welcomed to join Street Food Festival every Wednesday night.
Street Food Festival combines food experience from well established restaurants to trendy newcomers. The food is cooked on the street right in front of your eyes using unique cooking techniques. Though meals are cheaper than regular meals in the restaurant, thus we believe Street Food Festival in Kalnciema Quarter might be your best chance to taste the food of as many local chefs as possible.
Enjoy great food, drinks and atmosphere in the greatest orchard in the city.
Opening hours: every Wednesday (May-September) 6pm-11pm
Former sheds in the depths of the courtyard of Kalnciema Quarter have been gracefully converted into a glass-fronted art gallery. It displays paintings, graphics, photography, sculptures and innovations of Latvian and international contemporary artists. Occasionally, thematic or historical exhibitions are organised. An annual tradition is the pop up art fair organised in cooperation with Art Academy of Latvia – "The Hunt for Art".
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-10pm
Admission: free of charge
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