Tour guides favorites The Art Nouveau district of Riga


Anna Turoka

Tourist guide in Riga

Riga is often called the metropolis of Art Nouveau in Europe,

because a third of the buildings in its city center represent examples of this richly decorative style. I love visiting the Art Nouveau district with my tourists, it’s like going back in time at the time of Riga at the beginning of the 20th century! Together we get to know the most remarkable characters of those days. This tour allows my tourists to better understand the architectural trends and fashion of Art Nouveau.
Ce style est né en Belgique à la fin de 19eme siècle et était connu sous les noms différents dans plusieurs pays d’Europe. En Allemagne c’est Jugendstil, en Italie – Liberty, en Autriche – Sécession, en Russie – Modern. Ce style se caractérise avec des façades richement décorées ou la fantaisie d’architecte joue le rôle essentiel. La beauté, le confort el l’harmonie absolue étaient les trois piliers fondamentaux de l’Art Nouveau. Les architectes de l’Art Nouveau considéraient que chaque objet que la main humaine touche est obligé d’être beau.

At the beginning of the 20th century in Riga worked famous architects like Mikhaïl Eisenstein, Konstantins Peksens, Eizens Laube. In the streets of Riga we can distinguish at least three types of Art Nouveau: the decorative-expressive style, national romanticism and vertical Art Nouveau. During our walk we see the most beautiful examples of these three types.
We learn to distinguish them from each other, as we get to know the most remarkable architects of the turn of the century. I teach my tourists how to decipher the messages on the facades of “talking houses”, which the architects left us.
Sometimes we also visit the house-museum of architect K. Peksens in Alberta Street, which surprises with its atmosphere of the aristocratic apartment of the beginning of the 20th century. He already had all the luxury and comfort possible for his time, which was accessible only to wealthy people – the central heating system, the pipeline and the electricity.

No visit to the city can be done without passing along the facades Mikhail Eisenstein, this is why I advise you not to miss this open-air museum; the famous Art Nouveau district!