Riga – Latvia
The art-nouveau capital of Europe
The wonderful city of Riga. A very well deserved return to revisit after that many years in between the previous times. The fact that I kept postponing this city on behalf of others is still a fact I cannot quite explain. I cannot think of any possible reason nor excuse as it is still ranking one of my all time favourite European cities, not only for the beauty and cosines of the old town but because of its impressive collection of art-nouveau buildings, the largest of its kind on any city in the world. And yes, for those who don’t know me yet, art-nouveau together with art-deco are my favourite architectural styles.
Riga is the largest city not only in Latvia, also the largest of any city across the Baltic countries, followed by Tallinn and Vilnius; hosting one third of the country’s population. As such, plan at least 2 days for visiting it. Any shorter than this and you will struggle to enjoy the sights and relaxed time at any of the many restaurants and bars. Yet still, over 2 days and you might end up with not much more to do and see unless going to the outskirts neighbourhoods or nearby seaside resort of Jurmala.
The old town is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list due to its importance and rich past and prosperity over history as one of the major cities of the Hanseatic League and for hosting an almost intact medieval layout coupled with an incredible collection of 19th century wood classical buildings in the Russian style and an unrivaled 19th and 20th century art-nouveau city extension. (more…)