Riga Art Nouveau

Riga Art Nouveau

If you ever come to the capital of Latvia, don’t forget to look up! Riga has the highest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in the world. That style was popular from around 1900 to 1914, a period when the city’s population almost doubled and hundreds of apartment buildings were built—each vying to look modern and unique. We rented a little apartment in one of those buildings. Although our room didn’t have any period touches, the nearby Art Nouveau Museum showed us a beautifully restored example of a bourgeois family’s apartment from the early 1900s.

Art Nouveau architecture took various forms in Riga: Eclectic (masses of ornate decoration, like an over-the-top wedding cake), Perpendicular (strong vertical lines), and National Romantic (muted earth tones, asymmetry, and decoration based on folk art). Wandering the streets with her camera, Melissa took almost 300 photos of the fabulous buildings. We’ve whittled that down to 71 to give you a taste of the rich variety of Art Nouveau design in Riga.

Comments on Riga Art Nouveau

    • Early 20th century. I know you like interesting architecture (and stained glass, of course, though we didn’t see so much of that).