Walk the Straight Line - Not Always

 

Dom Square 
They usually say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but not always. I wanted to explain my walk across the Cathedral Square, but I'm not sure this picture tells you the story. 


Cathedral Square
The Lutheran Cathedral is located about three blocks from our house. Adjacent to the cathedral or Dom (in Latvian) is a large open square that we need to walk across every time that we head to any store. 


This large square poses a problem for me when I'm walking with my husband. You see, he walks the direct  line right across the square, but I choose to walk a rather circuitous route. There's a very good reason which I will try to explain with pictures and a thousand words. 


Uneven cobbles
Size of the square
It all has to do with walking on cobblestones, which can be hazardous to your ankles. Sometimes the stones don't lay evenly next to each other causing your foot to twist if you step on the cobblestones incorrectly. I'm always cautious when I'm walking on the streets here since they are entirely cobblestones. 


My kind of stones 

Now, about the top picture. Dom Square has patterns in its large surface. Cobblestones go one direction and suddenly change direction with a border stone between the areas. The cobbles can be quite different from one square to the next. 


The ones that are large and smooth are much easier to walk on, so those are the squares that I use to get from one side to the other. Others are small, broken, and bumpy. 

Harder to walk on


Between all these different areas of the stones, the red stone borders divide  the cobblestones. My husband and I tried to figure out why these patterns were in the stone. He surmised that this square previously had buildings in it. He thought that the red borders outlined the different buildings that had previously been there. 
Red outline in the stones


A couple weeks ago, we found pictures to prove that his idea was correct. Up until the early 20th Century, the cathedral was surrounded by houses very close to the church. 

Old picture of the square




The houses around the church were torn down over a span of 20 years leaving the Cathedral Square open for town gatherings. 


Former houses shown with church




From what we found out, Dom Square is usually filled with vendors during any festivals or city celebrations. When we first visited Riga in early January, the square was filled with huts from the Christmas market. 



Of course, since we've moved here the square has been very empty. The pandemic has cancelled any festivals or Christmas markets. 

Our daily walk across the square


However, we still need to walk across the square several times a week. My husband's larger feet don't mind the uneven cobbled squares. I'm sure it's very strange to watch us walk across the square. He walks a straight line while I'm zigging and zagging my way across, searching for the flat stones.


I bet you're not surprised to find out that he always gets there first!


















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