Any architecture lover should have a visit to Riga on the top of his bucket list. The Latvian capital offers a rich and diverse collection of buildings, combining eclectic styles with the strong presence of Art Nouveau. Explore the medieval charm of Riga’s Old Town or seek out the unique wooden architecture found in parts of the city. It is not without reason that Riga was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, as it truly is a feast for the eyes.
Exploring the architectural gemsThe first thing to remember when heading out to enjoy Riga’s architecture, is your camera. Even though the city’s architecture can be seen as typical of Northern Europe, what really sets it apart is the variety from Gothic to Modernism. The Old Town dates back to medieval times, and most of the architecture here stems from the 14th century. Particularly notable buildings found in the narrow and winding streets of the Old Town are the House of the Blackheads and the St. Peter’s Church.
The Boulevard Circle encompasses lush gardens, in addition to several important buildings such as the National Opera & Ballet House, the National Theater and the National Art Museum. Across the city, you can see for yourself the impact the Art Nouveau movement made in a relatively short period of time. This movement coincided with the boom in high-rise construction in Riga, and colorful examples are dotted across the city, with Albert Street being a particular highlight.
Wonderful wooden buildingsBut Riga’s architectural splendor is not limited to the Old Town. Unlike other European cities and as a result of Soviet occupation, Riga continued to build wooden housing until the outbreak of World War II. While wealthy residents previously shunned the wooden buildings, today their ancient and beautiful architecture is making them highly desirable property. The best place to see Riga’s wooden architecture is Daugavgrīvas Street.
When staying at the Radisson Blu Latvija Conference & Spa Hotel in Riga, this marvelous architecture awaits just a short distance from the comfort of your room. After spending a day exploring the city you can head back to the hotel and pamper yourself with a treatment at our on-site spa, complete with saunas, steam rooms and more.