History

Chronology

Circus building in Riga was founded on December 29th, 1888. It is one of the oldest circus buildings in all of Europe. Riga circus building is included in the list of state protected monuments. From 1888 until 2020 no serious construction works were carried out to renew the circus buildings structure. In the second half of 2020 the historical building was put under construction to make it safe for audiences and to accommodate performers taking in consideration the needs of the 21st century. All this is being done with respect to the history and original circus construction. While the circus building is under construction, the circus team is continuing work in different part of Riga – Agenskalns, Zeļļu street 25. We are planning to return to the circus building by january 2023.


1874.


the first temporary wooden circus building was built, where artists performed in the summer months. This building was located near Vermanes garden. At this time Riga circus was the only traveling circus in Baltics.



1878.


equestrian circus artist Albert Salomonsky buys land at what is now called Merkela street.



1888.


the first circus was being built, called Salomonsky circus and in December the building was finished. The architect of this building is Janis Friedrich Baumanis. The construction of the dome is made out of three connected train tracks, holding up 16 columns.



1899.


the first latvian circus artist with pseudonym Miford Reims performes at Riga circus. His real name was Trofim Meyer.



1940.


after the first Latvian occupation, Riga circus was nationalised. 31th octobre 1940 the circus was renamed – Latvian Soviet Union circus.



1986.


Riga circus was added to the list of important local monuments, but the MInistry of Culture in 11th novembre, 2003 made adjustments and recognised the circus building as a State protected monument.



2016.


6th january Riga city court’s ruling went into force with which a 20 year long question about – who owns the circus building was ended and the building officially became the States property. In February the building was closed for safety concerns, later reopened september 2018 for public events.



2017.


a ruling went into force which prohibits using wild animals for entertainment, including circus shows.



2017.


28th april a new team began work in Riga circus with CEO Inara Kehre. The new team transformed the circus into a space for multidisciplinary arts and contemporary circus.


Rigas cirks team brought to Latvia a variety of highly acclaimed contemporary circus shows from all over the world (Machine de Cirque, Circo Eia, Tom Monkton, Gravity and other Myths, Compagnie Bêstîa, etc.), also producing and co-producing local circus and theatre shows, as well as taking part in the contemporary circus and street art festival “Re.Riga”. (This festival is under the Rigas cirks wind starting in 2022.)


2017.


9th of december Riga circus school was founded and started offering classes to children and grown-ups. Riga circus school offers classes in 5 different circus disciplines – acrobatics, air acrobatics, magic, balance, object manipulation, as well as clowning and acting classes.



2019.


Liene Perkone became the CEO of Rigas cirks.



2022.


Māra Pāvula became the CEO of Rigas cirks.