Over a third of all buildings in Riga have been constructed in the style of Art nouveau. The reason for this is quite simple. When Art nouveau was at the height of its popularity, capital of Latvia just happened to be at the zenith of an unprecedented financial boom. Riga was home to entrepreneurs and engineers, educated in St. Petersburg, Moscow and the European metropolises, who succeeded at attracting German, Russian and Jewish capital; also, hope- and ambition-filled artists had returned here from their studies.
This enabled the application of the vast imagination of such architects as Eizens Laube, Konstantins Peksens, Wilhelm Bockslaff and the building engineer Mikhail Eisenstein (father of the legendary Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein): the facades of the buildings are overflowing with decorative elements; above the cornices one finds obelisks, sphinxes, lions, vases, flowers and everything else that characterises abundance and celebration of life.
Art nouveau in Latvia is closely connected to national romanticism (Latvian architects included elements of ethnic mythology and folklore into their designs), which is why some buildings feature not just the plush so typical in Europe while also referring to the spiritual values of Latvia.
Alberts street – the heart of Riga’s Art Nouveau architectural wonderland
Elizabete street – famous for particularly exquisite and extravagant Art Nouveau buildings
Vilande street, Strelnieki street, Antonija street, Rupnieciba street.
During this tour you will get learn about the two principal directions of Art Nouveau style in Riga – decorative Art Nouveau and romantic-nationalistic Art Nouveau.
Price from EUR 20 per person.
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours