Few weeks ago I posted a picture of the Old Town in Riga and in that post I said Riga was a hidden gem in Europe. Apart from the Old Town, it’s also famous for the beautiful art nouveau style architecture. According to a tourist book, nearly 40% of the buildings in the city centre was built with such style.
The style is characterised by the heavy use of flowers, human faces and mythical creatures like dragons on the façades of buildings. It was developed in Austria and Germany and has influenced a lot countries including Russia. As Riga was one of the very important ports in the Russian empire, the wealth gained had contributed to the extensive use of art nouveau style in buildings.
The decorations are extremely detailed and the facial expressions of the human faces look so real. Moreover, while most the sculptures are white or light grey in colour, the exterior walls were mostly painted with different colours and so similar to the old town, it’s like walking along a palette of water colours.
I’ve taken quite a few pictures of them and so I will create a couple of posts about them. To start with, let’s see the most popular one. The building is at 10B, Elizabetes Street and was built by one of the most famous Russian architects, Mikhail Eisenstein. The most interesting part is the two big faces at the corners at the top. If you do an image search at Google for “art nouveau riga”, you will mostly see this picture than the others so it’s actually an iconic piece.