Must-See Architecture in Riga

Must-See Architecture in Riga
10 June 2024

Once you choose to wander the streets of Riga, you might be pleasantly surprised by its historical, but nonetheless unique must-see architecture. The city, being one of Latvia’s most culturally rich towns, stands out through its many buildings often captured in any tourist photo. While vastly known for its stunning Art Nouveau, Riga has so much more to offer!

Latvian National Museum of Art

At first glance, the Latvian National Museum of Art could easily fool you into thinking solely of its national significance. Thanks to various permanent exhibitions, the museum contributed to the development of professional art in the Baltic region. This could make any of us admit it being among the must-see architecture in Riga. Most certainly, we shouldn’t forget to pay praise to its prominent arched windows and grand columns. Its design belongs to the museum’s first director, Wilhelm Neumann. He is also known as an esteemed art historian and architect. In addition, the museum stands out through its majestic façade representative of the baroque and classicist style. 

 

Must-see architecture in Riga

Elizabetes iela 33

Elizabetes iela 33

Without the need for an introduction, Art Nouveau deserves an honourable mention among its sister styles. A few minutes walk away from the museum, you will most likely become enamoured with the well renowned architecture in Riga. Across the street from several local restaurants and cafes, this building makes itself easily noticed. Its ornamental details and fine artistry seem to act as a reminder of one of the greatest architectural styles. I hope you can now picture why tourists and locals alike choose to enjoy their coffee nearby this gem. It is almost as if you travel back in time to the 20th century!

Must-see architecture in Riga

Alberta iela No.11

Alberta iela No. 11

While greatly different from what you would expect from Riga’s must-see architecture, this current residential building absolutely captivates any passer-by from the start. Even if its dark grayish color might feel uninspiring, it for sure leaves a mark on you. Responsible for its establishment in 1908 was the Latvian architect Eižens Laube. Throughout his work, the pioneer of the Riga Jugendstil movement, made sure to utilize several modest ornaments. His vision dates back to National Romanticism, as he uses natural materials and takes inspiration from medieval architecture. 

Whether you find yourself solo-traveling to the Baltic region or on a business trip, Riga should be at the very top of anybody’s list! It is with its embedded figures present on façades, that the city buildings seem to remind you of Latvia’s past. With this ever-lasting company, your trip to Riga will be certainly worthwhile. Since my recent arrival in town, the unique architecture rarely goes unnoticed during my daily walks. It is with absolute honesty that I  admit the special place they now have won in my heart. Besides its culture and gastronomic must-eats, Riga’s architecture is the utter proof of love at first sight. Наслаждайся!

 Elena, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Riga

These images were taken by Elena Balan.

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