It is well worth taking a streetcar deeper into Riga's working class "Moscow District" from the Central Market, which lies at this neighbourhood's edge. The wooden architecture in much of the area - some of it dating from as far back as the early 19th century - is quite remarkable.
The Grebenshchikov church on Mazā Krasta iela 73 is unequalled anywhere on Earth, a true architectural gem that serves the world's largest congregation of Old Believers, who have a unique style of choral singing all their own.
Mysterious courtyards beckon throughout the district... but do keep your wits about you, as the neighbourhood does have its deserved share of notoriety and certainly is not the safest part of town. Stray dogs and squats, as well as colourful characters of all kinds abound.
Although you have received fair warning, the image of Riga's Moscow District is gradually improving, with many parks and streets being recently spruced up.
Mazā kalna iela - which is also the name of the streetcar stop you should look for, and which means "Little Hill Street" - is where the city's hay market was once located. It now has a lovely square, where one of Riga's first horse-drawn tramways began to operate in 1882, reaching a top speed of 10 kilometres an hour. Surrounded by late 19th-century and early 20th-century wooden structures, the square has a sculpture memorializing these early examples of public transit.
Maskavas iela 121b
Keywords: architecture, Riga