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What Does “Citadele” Mean?

Citadele (from the Italian word “citadella”) literally means a small city, a powerful fortress, and the main fortification, the heart of the feudal city which also serves as the administrative and cultural centre.

Starting from the Bronze Age and later on citadels in medieval cities were the most modern, safe and strongly fortified parts of the fortress which rise high above the ground, enabling to glance over nearby regions. They were large enough for people to find shelter and sufficient amounts of resources could be stored in them in case of a long-term siege.

Similarly, in 1650 a new fortress began to form North of Old Riga with a complex of fortification buildings. It was called the Citadel of Riga – the domicile of the city's garrison and militarily the most fortified place whose task was to ensure control over the city. Initially this was included in the a unified defensive system together with the Castle of Riga but at the end of the 17 th century Citadel was separated from the Castle and moved further North. Thus a separate fortress was formed on the right bank of the river Daugava with moats, two ravelins, earthen ramparts, six bastions and the same secret passages as beneath the city's bulwarks so that besiegers could be attacked unexpectedly. The city was connected with the Citadel by a drawbridge and the King's gate constructed in the rampart.

Riga's Citadel saw significant changes at the end of the 18 th and beginning of the 19 th century when the old wooden constructions were replaced with brick buildings. New constructions, warehouses and barracks were built. Around 1880 after take-down of the city's ramparts and Citadel's fortifications Citadeles street was formed, which initially was named Pētera Pāvila Street. 1923. It was renamed as Citadeles street in 1923; its length is 535 metres. The present Ave Sol concert hall, at that time – St. Peter and Pavil's Church as well as two warehouses for food storage, the guardhouse and barracks serve as evidence of Riga's Citadel.

A citadel does not necessarily need to be a fortress; it can be a 2'752 metres high mountain peak which is located on the bank of a picturesque lake at Glacier National Park, Montana, USA. A 201 metres or 42 floors high tower in the heart of the business centre of the ambitious Dubai is also named Citadel. Nowadays, the main advantages of citadels are modern technological solutions and an up-to-date environment combined with a beautiful landscape which provides perfect conditions for development and growth of a business.