Another Courtyard

Outside original city gate 
Ancient history shows itself around Old Town Riga in special ways. The ancient wall of the city makes up a portion of the St. John's Courtyard. This courtyard is located on the area of the original Bishop's castle when Riga was originally built in the 12th Century. 

How old is this archway?
St. John's Lutheran Church was originally the Bishop's chapel for the castle, so it is adjacent to the courtyard. I pass through this courtyard often on my way to the mall that I visit. 

Approach to courtyard

The Courtyard is accessed by walking down the alley past St. John's Church door and under an ancient archway. St. John's door is on the right side of the alley in the picture on the right.  A person doesn't even think of the history surrounding you when you live in a place where it's just the neighborhood. 

I do often wonder what the building above the archway is. Do people live above the archway? How long has that part of the structure been there. It connects directly with St. John's Church today, but was it originally like that? I'll never know.

View of courtyard


Once inside the courtyard, you're surrounded by shops and restaurants. Again, they are not noticed so much because everything looks old. 

Ancient wall with added decorations
The one thing your eyes are drawn toward is the view of the ancient wall still very much intact and in full display. A restaurant sits in the corner next to the wall which adds to the quaintness of the scene. Here is the ancient wall, built 800 or more years ago, on full display. 

Of course, since that time the city has grown up around it and it's now a tourist attraction. The city makes sure that this piece of wall is preserved close to it's original design as possible. 

In the close up on the left, you can see that the walk-way above the original wall is still maintained. They have also shown the original stones in a small place in an arch. This is history at its best. 

It's too bad I don't think about all of this as I'm carrying my groceries home. At that point, the weight of the bags is more on my mind. 



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