Photos: President returns to the Rīga Castle

On August 22 President Raimonds Vējonis returned the Rīga Castle, the official residence of the President of Latvia. The Latvian flag has been raised again in the tower of the building, and the honorary guard have returned to their duties, reported Latvian Radio Monday.

"I am sincerely glad we can at last gradually return to the castle," said President Raimonds Vējonis.

"Life is returning to the castle. Today the president with the chancery is moving to this part of the castle. Of course renovation is ongoing with high hopes that in 2018, on the centenary, we'll be able to say that the Rīga Castle has been reconstructed," said Vējonis.

"But what's most important is that this heritage and statesmanship symbol is gradually being restored and is returning to life.

Already tomorrow we'll be meeting with my colleagues here - the presidents of Estonia and Lithuania - and US Vice-President Mr. Joe Biden will be visiting," he said.

Andris Bērziņš, the previous President of Latvia, along with his chancery left the castle four years ago when renovation started. He took residence at the nearby House of Blackheads.

The castle, home to valuable museum collections as well as being the presidential residence, was damaged badly in the summer 2013 fire that engulfed the building in flames, delaying the ongoing reconstruction significantly.

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