… elegante like a ballerino 🩰 guy - svelt, slithe and expressive - Riga, Latvia 🇱🇻 is an impressive city rebuilt after many wars in the elegance and uniqueness of Art Deco architecture muchachos!
Yes, I love architecture - and in my early college days I used to spend my lunch-time learning about Architecture, its various styles and world traditions (I think that is what partially shaped my love of travel and world 🌍 cultures) - it pays to be nerdie. 🤓
Latvia 🇱🇻 impressed me a lot with its beautiful squares, colors and coffee ☕️ culture as well … a bit too commercialized and fake to be honest (especially compared to its brothers: Estonia and Lithuania). It was great to see in person - but not sure if I’d ever return, to be totally honest…
Anyway, Latvia is one of the three Baltic States in northeast Europe. So far most travelers know it for its gorgeous capital city Riga. The charm of Riga has somehow left some other Latvian gems undiscovered. Here come some big discoveries for many looking for new roads less travelled.
… still, Latvia is still very much an off-the-beaten-path place to go.
The city’s complex history begins in the year of 1201 with the arrival of German traders, mercenaries, and crusaders, who founded Riga as a port town. It soon became an important trade center of the Eastern Baltic region and it went on to become one of the largest industrial centers of the Russian Empire.
One of the many ornate buildings in the art nouveau district of the latvian capital Riga.
Today, Riga is arguably the most beautiful city in the Baltic states and surely is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Latvia. This is mostly due to the fact that the city is filled with Art Nouveau and wooden architecture from the 19th century. Riga attracts more and more visitors each and every year, because of the cheap flights Latvia has established between their capital and other European cities.
Riga, the capital of Latvia, has the finest and the largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings in the world!
The Art Nouveau movement began in the 1890s, spreading the idea that art should be a part of everything around us. This rather revolutionary movement confronted the eclectic historical styles and the precise geometry of neoclassical forms with great elegance and soon became synonymous with progress, influencing a number of artists who started using various elements of this modern art style as inspiration.
Inspired by nature and its forms, the style embraced all forms of art and design and was applied to painting, sculpture, illustration, jewelry, interior design, and, most notably, architecture.
The style first appeared in England, and soon spread all around Europe and the United States. Called by different names in different countries, the final term Art Nouveau was first used in Paris, deriving from the words New Art.
In a short period, Art Nouveau spread like wildfire across many European cities, including Brussels, Barcelona, Paris, Vienna, Prague, Munich, Glasgow, and Turin. Numerous artists and architects from these European centers shrewdly combined their skills to create some of the most beautiful examples of Art Nouveau buildings, whose decorative charm and extravagance will impress even the most demanding art and architecture buffs out there. However, none of these cities holds the largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings in the world. It’s a title that belongs to Riga, the capital of Latvia.
Nature IS pretty cool here though: 12,000 rivers, 3,000 lakes, plenty of pristine boglands, and more than 500 kilometers of secluded sandy Baltic Sea beaches - add some impressive unique Baltic cultural and historical heritage and you’ve probably just found a nice destination for your next Baltic trip though (I still recommend Estonia and Lithuania more)!