The epitome of a haunted house, this imposing fin de siècle building is remembered by generations of Latvians as the local headquarters of the notorious Soviet secret police – NKVD/KGB. Arbitrary arrests, torture, executions – it saw it all. These days it houses an exhibition dedicated to victims and perpetrators of political repression, which directly affected 26,000 people. An English-language tour of torture dungeons is available daily at 10.30am, except Wednesdays, when it starts at noon.
The courtyard often houses art exhibitions, one of which sparked controversy in 2015, when an installation that included a crucified effigy of Vladimir Putin was vandalised by local fans of the Russian president.