This spectacular edifice sandwiched between Old Riga and the Riga canal was erected in 1863, but was largely destroyed by a gas leak, which resulted in a devastating fire in 1882. Thankfully, the building was restored to architect Ludwig Bohnstedt’s original design and reopened five years later, but this time with a state-of-the-art technology called electricity. The new opera included the city’s very first electric power station, whose tall smoke stack is still visible today. The building and its unmistakable ionic columns were completely refurbished once again in the early 1990s and a new annex with 300 seats was added in 2001. The opera is also surrounded by beautiful gardens that include a fountain with a bronze statue.