Trams first entered service in Riga in 1882. The city’s first trams were horse drawn and chugged along at around 10 km per hour, actually quite a respectable speed, I feel, when you consider they could carry up to 40 people.

This monument is dedicated to Riga’s horse drawn trams and is located on the edge of a small park (a former hay market) at Maza; kalna iela, in the centre of the Moscow District, which was serviced by the first trams. The monument is by a local artist, Andris Varpas, and is constructed from metal pieces, including old tram tracks. It was unveiled in 2009 as part of a wider scheme to revitalise the Moscow District more generally.

A nice touch when I visited was finding a couple of birds resting within the metal work. While I didn’t see any evidence of nests it would not surprise me if their nests were hidden somewhere within the mass of metal.

Electric trams replaced the horse drawn ones in 1901. It is still possible to have a ride on one of the City’s first electric trams – alas there is no horse drawn option. Trams remain the best way for tourists to get around the main sites, outside the Old City, today.

The park is surrounded by some nice old buildings such as the one depicted in picture 4 above. these are worthy a look in themselves as you wander around the Moscow District, generally admiring its abundance of ageing wooden houses.

Getting there from the city centre

Take tram 3,7 or 9 to Maza; kalna iela stop. The monument is conveniently located at the tram stop.

My final picture is courtesy Wikimedia and shows an old horse drawn tram in Riga.

This is one in a group (loop) of reviews exploring beyond the Old City area of Riga. Continue to my next entry. Alternatively to start at the beginning of the loop click here.


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