The Riga Central Market is the largest and most prominent food market in the Baltic countries, not only due to its size, but also thanks to its curious blend of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Neo Classicism architecture.
The market's five, distinctive, tunnel-shaped pavilions have become an inimitable feature of the city's skyline and have an interesting history. Their circular building frames first served as zeppelin hangars for German occupying forces in western Latvia during the First World War. After Latvia gained its independence in 1918, the hangars were moved to their present location in central Riga and modified to assume their current form. The construction of the Central Market took place over a six-year period and was completed in 1930, when the market opened to the public.
The food market's seafood pavilion is an experience in itself, with vendors offering practically everything that can be caught in Latvia's lakes, rivers and the Baltic Sea - including such local delicacies as fresh flounder, pickled herring, and smoked eel.
If you have trouble recovering from previous night's excess, be sure to visit the vegetable pavilion where, behind mounds of different varieties of homemade sauerkraut, you will encounter kindly salesladies who will treat you to a cup of sauerkraut juice: a hangover remedy the locals swear by.
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Keywords: market, Riga