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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
During last few years I have taken a lot of photos of my home town Rēzekne, as I was updating Latvia's construction thread for this town.

Therefore I wanted to share them all here.

Rēzekne is a town of about 32 thousand peeople in the Eastern part of Latvia some 50km from Russian border. It's known as the cultural and political center of Latgale region in Latvia (also as the center of both Russian border guard and customs point for railway transit, and as a contrabanda center for illegal goods smuggled in from Russia). The town was founded in late 13th century when a stone castle of Rositten was erected by Livonian crusaders who fought against local pagans. In later centuries the growing settlement was sacked by Russians, Poles and whatever power came through the town. The casle was finally destroyed by Swedish using the then recently invented artillery (cannon balls). Local settlement, in 19th century came to be known as Rezhytsa under Tzarist Russia rule and the town's development took off with railway lines Warszaw-St. Petersburg and Windau (Ventspils)-Moscow being built, as well as Rezhytsa was a stop along the road from St.Petersburg to Warszaw. Lots of Jewish people came to live in the town, as well as Russians, Poles making it a very cosmopolitain town.

When Latvia gained independence in 1918 (or Rēzekne, as it was renamed in Latvian, in 1920), it still remained a rather ethnically mixed town with a big Jewish settlement, they even had 7 synagogues in the town at one point. However, most of Jews either fled the town or perished during Holocaust...

In Soviet times Rēzekne became an industrial center, industry being located in newly built Northern district (mostly industrial zone and commieblocks), after regaining independence Rēzekne has had tough times with big factories shutting down and people leaving the town. It has the highest unemployment rate among towns and cities in Latvia, however in the last few years thanks to EU funds, Rēzekne is desperately trying to become a town which would be attractive to both people and industry.

To start the tour, a monument in the southern part of the town, dedicated to Francis Trasuns. In 1917 Latgalian region was a part of Vitebsk gubernya in Russian Empire, so Latgalian congress convened in the building behind the monument, now J. Ivanovs Music School, then Rezekne School of Commerce to decide if Latgale should instead join up with other Latvia's regions and proclaim Latvia's independence. Francis Trasuns was one of the most ardent proponents of joining Latvia and the monument shows him planting a tree (Latgale) next to other trees representing other historic Latvia's regions.



20140418_153623_HDR by anjansons, on Flickr

This picture attracted my attention because it's geographically correct, this is the South part of town, only there is no park



Picture 030 by anjansons, on Flickr



Picture 032 by anjansons, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Historic Latgale street meets Atbrīvošanas aleja. In past, a century or so back, Latgale street from which we are looking at Hotel Rēzekne was the most important one, now it's Atbrīvošanas aleja

Picture 001 by anjansons, on Flickr

Monument dedicated to victory over fascism, Soviet soldier holding a rifle. Usually such monuments in Latvia bring about mixed feelings as Latvians (at least vast majority of them) have nothing against victory over fascism, they just don't like Soviet symbols. But history is history and in Rēzekne the monument is no as politically charged as, for example, the one in Latvia's capital Riga.

Picture 002 by anjansons, on Flickr

Not much is left from Latgale street as it was in pre-war time. There was a heavy bombardment and most of historic houses were destroyed, in plce came Soviet architeture in some cases more in some less successfully. But there are still some glipmses left

Picture 044 by anjansons, on Flickr

Picture 041 by anjansons, on Flickr

Picture 036 by anjansons, on Flickr

During Seven Hills Art and Music festival that happens in Rezekne, each year some walls get old Rēzekne scenes painted on them, as in this case

Picture 037 by anjansons, on Flickr

The Green building is a surviving 19th century wooden synagogue, it should be renoved soon, so the town could get some new nice old building

Picture 048 by anjansons, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Catholic church has a lot of influence in Rēzeke town, since the Cathedral of Sacred Heart of Our Lord on Latgale street is the seat of Rēzekne-Aglona diocese under bishop Jānis Bulis. Latgalians are Catholics (those Latgalians who are ethic Latvians) while other regions of Latvia are Lutheran mostly.

Church has a kindergarten, high school and also owns radio in Rēzekne. However they have done a lot to clean up a part of Latgale's street for it to be in order.

Oldest stone building in Rēzekne, from 18th century, now renovated. It houses Rēzekne Catholic High School

Picture 050 by anjansons, on Flickr

Next to it is Cathedral itself

Picture 051 by anjansons, on Flickr

Behind the cathedral is the residency of the bishop, looks old but actually built less than 10 years ago, since diocese in Rēzekne is only since 1995.

Picture 052 by anjansons, on Flickr

The gate around the church's land. You can immediately tell whom it belongs by the ornament

Picture 053 by anjansons, on Flickr

Catholic kindergarten is a bit further away, in newer part of the town. I bet when Soviets built it they couldn't imagine that one day it will be renovated and owned by Catholic church

Picture 002 by anjansons, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If we move further away on Atbrīvošanas aleja, we find recently built concert hall "Gors". Latvian government wants every historic Latvian region to have a concert hall for people in regions to be able to access quality music, cinema etc., so in Latgale Rēzekne had to have it, also thanks to EU funds.

You climb to the terrace on recently renovated library building to take in the full view

Picture 012 by anjansons, on Flickr

...and then climb down.

Also recently renovated Festival park

Picture 015 by anjansons, on Flickr

And concert hall with Rēzekne river.

Picture 018 by anjansons, on Flickr

Picture 020 by anjansons, on Flickr

Picture 023 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 031 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 030 by anjansons, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rēzekne river.

During building of Zeimuļs youth center near castle hill and concert hall Gors, there was also a project of pedestrian street creation along the river. It was also done, creating more public space for walks and cleaning the river.

Rezekne 033 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 034 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 038 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 039 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 043 by anjansons, on Flickr

Further on the river still remains savage

Rezekne 045 by anjansons, on Flickr

...even like this

Picture 062 by anjansons, on Flickr

There is a plan of continuing to ''tame'' the river, creating more public access further continuing pedestrian street.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Atbrīvošanas aleja/city center

Rēzekne is located on 7 hills, so there's also some climbing to do, not only on castle hill, but going up hill from Gors to city center.

Picture 006 by anjansons, on Flickr

Renovated ex-cinema will soon be Minorities' Culture House

Picture 004 by anjansons, on Flickr

Museum of Latgalian Culture and History

Rezekne 020 by anjansons, on Flickr

Street view, Latgale Region court and Minorities Culture House

Rezekne 019 by anjansons, on Flickr

Monument ''United for Latvia'', commemorating Latgale joining to form Latvia.

Rezekne 021 by anjansons, on Flickr

Second catholic church, Our Lady of Sorrows

Rezekne 022 by anjansons, on Flickr

Renovated library building

Rezekne 023 by anjansons, on Flickr

Oldest stone church of Rēzekne, Russian Orthodox church is being renovated

Rezekne 061 by anjansons, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Atbrīvošanas aleja is the central, also biggest (4 lines, 2 each way) and lengthiest street of Rēzekne. However, since there are lot of trees and pedestrian space, it does not seem that overwhelming. The name in English means "Liberation Alley" and some people think it's name so because of Soviet liberation of Rēzekne in WW2, but it's not true. In Soviet times the street was called Lenin street and had Lenin's monument instead of Vienoti Latvijai "United for Latvia". The name comes from Rēzekne's liberation from bolsheviks in 1920 when it also was decided that the street will be dedicated to that victory and an alley of trees wil be planted.

The architecture in this part of the street is not much inspiring, as it is all Soviet brick houses

Rezekne 018 by anjansons, on Flickr

However trees help not to notice futher on

Rezekne 001 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 006 by anjansons, on Flickr

Also, along the street, recently renovated Rēzekne Higher Education Institution building and its newly built Enginering faculty

Rezekne 003 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 002 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 005 by anjansons, on Flickr

Picture 078 by anjansons, on Flickr

They built it trying not to intrude with trees as much as possible. Rēzekne loves its trees, during the big renovations in the center, local press frequently slammed municipality even for a few cut trees, sometimes going even to the absurd as some concessions for development need to be done. But it's better than to disregard trees at all and I believe Rēzekne has done great with preserving trees in a city environment. Also, many of trees have symbolic value as with those planted after both Rēzekne libertions, in 1920 and in 1944...


Atbrīvošanas aleja still continues towards Northern district of Rēzekne

Picture 014 by anjansons, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dārzu iela (Garden Street), another great street of Rēzekne. It starts from Latgale street and then runs in parallel to Atbrīvošanas aleja in the center. It has two parks along its way, one of which bears the name of Latvian poet Rainis, on the left side

Rezekne 007 by anjansons, on Flickr

Some parts of the park badly need renovation, but still it is charming in its way

Rezekne 009 by anjansons, on Flickr

Picture 063 by anjansons, on Flickr

At least kids have carrousels and infrastructure

Rezekne 010 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 008 by anjansons, on Flickr

Some nice houses along the way, they were re-colouring pedestrian zebras on this street today, so there are those orange construction cones present.

Rezekne 016 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 062 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne Secondary School Nr.2

Rezekne 059 by anjansons, on Flickr

A monument to Latgalians who died in Afghan war (the Soviet one)

Rezekne 060 by anjansons, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Another small street, running parallel to Dārzu iela

On the right side, Rēzekne School of Art

Rezekne 055 by anjansons, on Flickr

Lutheran church, there is one in Rēzekne too. And nice one.

Rezekne 057 by anjansons, on Flickr

Rezekne 011 by anjansons, on Flickr

Some nice private houses too

Rezekne 012 by anjansons, on Flickr

Renovated kindergarten

Rezekne 013 by anjansons, on Flickr

That would be all from me for now.

If you woud like to see how the town looked in the past, follow below thread
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1716820
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Nice tour of Rēzekne! I know there is at least one more nice modern building in the city, there was even article in "Latvijas arhitektūra" about it!
I don't think so, at least not from new ones
However, there's a nice renovation, this building



Aside from that, the newly built ones are Hesburger standard glass box



and also this one



there's also a typical Rezekne hangar-like shopping center building recently built and a new block house from ''fat years'' but nothing I would call beautiful in any way.

Maybe it was the future hotel project, that could be it. But there's still no any news whether there will even be investors who will build it. Olympic center arenas in future could be those, but they are a few years away. Professional high school will have the existing buildings renovated and laboratories built that could be interesting but it's also in project stage at the moment.

There's the nice Water Tourism center ''Bāka'', but it's far from Rēzekne, next to Lubāns lake in Rezekne Municipality which is interesting with the fact that it has its main administrative building in Rēzekne but is actually another municipality separate from the city.

baka by anjansons, on Flickr
 

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Thank you so much for you pictures. "Gors" looks just awesome, especially considering how little Rezekne is. And overall, there are quite many modern buildings, i really like the way they look. I hope, that these soviet block on the central streets are gonna be replaced soon. And in terms of modern architecture i personally think that it looks even better than Daugavpils. It has some kind of potential. Would really like to visit it some day:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Attack of the semi-professional camera. I have stopped taking pictures with my smartphone, so here's the result. Saturday and Sunday in Rēzekne

Castle Hill and Views
DSC00379 by Andris Jansons, on Flickr

There was a festival and I guess they will tear down the small wooden castle, but the hill is actually more interesting with it

DSC00385 by Andris Jansons, on Flickr

DSC00384 by Andris Jansons, on Flickr

DSC00381 by Andris Jansons, on Flickr
 
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