Riga City Canal

The length of the city canal is 3.2 km, the depth is approximately 2 m, and 16 bridges cross it. Earlier the canal together with the defensive moats served as an important link in Riga’s defensive system. The canal acquired its current appearance after 1857 when the earth ramparts were demolished. This was done to transform the vacant territory adjoining the ramparts into a recreation area and gardens, in the centre of which a canal made from the former moats was created for decorative purposes. The city’s defensive moat was connected with one of the Citadel’s defensive moats, partially filled, and the banks were strengthened with oak planks. In this way Bastion Hill was created in place of the Sand Bastion, and vegetation was planted around the canal. This decision turned out to be wise because the green area has survived until the present day, and is loved by Riga’s citizens and visitors alike. In 2001 the canal banks were restored and strengthened, and it continues to be used for various entertainment purposes.


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