Although the illustrious romantic poet never once set foot in Riga, a bronze statue of the literary genius graces the southern bank of the Riga canal in the Kronvald Park right next to the pedestrian bridge. So why a monument to a Russian writer in Riga? A tenuous and oft disputed story does actually connect Alexander Pushkin to the Latvian capital. While in St. Petersburg, the troubled author met Anna Kern (1800 - 1879) with whom he had an affair. That much has been more or less proven, but it’s also been widely rumoured that he dedicated one of his most famous poems to this Russian socialite who eventually moved to Riga as the wife of General Ye. F. Kern. He wrote several love letters to her over the course of a year and a half, but is said to have later despised her. A small statue of the scandalous Anna Kern, who died in abject poverty in Moscow, is located next to the Ave Sol concert hall, which was once the church of the Russian garrison over which her former husband presided.