Riga’s architectural landscape is rich with a fascinating mix of medieval and Jugendstil/Art nouveau architecture characterize Riga, Latvia’s capital city on the banks of the Daugava River, where we docked near the Vecriga (Old Town). Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former Hanseatic League member. The Vecriga (Old Town) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On Elizatetes and Alberta Streets are pale pink, blue and cream-colored facades decorated with figures. The sprawling city now number approximately 700,000 inhabitants. Latvia has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and adopted the Euro on 1 January 2014.
“It is generally recognized that Riga has the finest and the largest collection of art nouveau buildings in the world. This is due to the fact that at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, when Art Nouveau was at the height of its popularity, Riga experienced an unprecedented financial and demographic boom. In the period from 1857 to 1914 its population grew from 282,000 to 558,000 making it the 4th largest city in the Russian Empire (after Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Warsaw) and its largest port. The bourgeoisie of Riga used their wealth to build imposing apartment blocks around the former city walls. Local architects, mostly graduates of Riga Technical University, adopted current European movements, and in particular Art Nouveau. In that period around 800 Art Nouveau buildings were erected. The majority of them are concentrated in the central part of Riga and a few more in the Old Town.” — Wikipedia