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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi!

This thread will be devoted to one of the beautiful European cities - Latvia's capital Riga. Maybe you know Riga well and even have been there. Maybe you have heard just a bit about this city and probably not in the best context (economic crisis, sex tourism, etc.). Maybe you have not heard about Riga at all.

No matter, if you are in the first, second or third category, you could find interesting and enjoyable to visit this thread. Many people who have not knew Riga before, becomes very surprised when they finally discover it. "So cosmopolitan and lively for it's size", "fantastic Old Town", "stunning historical skyline", "outstanding Art Nouveau architecture", "beautiful parks" - they are just some of the comments by people who have visited Riga.

We will start with the video presentation (made out of photos+music) which will lead you into the enormous architectural fairy-tale land - the historical centre of Riga. Riga is the world's capital of Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) and here you will see some of Riga's most impressive and famous examples of this magnificent architecture style. Riga (like other important cities) has also Boulevard district, which surrounds rather unique feature - city's canal with the park area around it. This is the place where Riga Opera (which is becoming very prestige on the international level), National Theatre, Museum of National Art and other culture buildings are located. Third aspect which you'll see is the streetscapes of Riga centre - urban, dense quarters of wall-to-wall buildings from the end of 19th/beginning of 20th Century in various architecture styles - Art Nouveau, Art Deco, etc.

!! To get the best quality, don't forget to click on HD (High Definition) icon at the right lower corner. In order to see the full screen click on full screen icon beside. But, if you want to see it on even better quality (with more coherent music and photo streaming), please go to my web-site www.urbancentre.net and download the powerpoint presentation show file from the first article at the top of the page. !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXdwvrm6xQI

Small preview version:

 

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The video's title is "Riga. The Metropolis of the Beauty". Apparently that caption was written in "the English". It reminds me of an anecdote told by the movie star Cary Grant. Once a European fan magazine wanted to know his age, so they sent him a telegram that said: "How old Cary Grant?" Grant answered: "Old Cary Grant fine. How you?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK, here goes the first pictures...

1. Freedom monument. It's one of the ~20 landmarks and symbols of Riga. Monument was built in 1930ies, whole nation donated money for it's construction back then. In Soviet occupation times authorities wanted to demolish this architectural masterpiece but famous Russian sculptor Vera Mukhina (who was born in Riga) didn't let to do that. We will most definitely return to Freedom monument with more detailed view somewhere later.



2. Latvia's National Opera and it's park.
Opera is another landmark building of Riga. Built as a German Theatre in the middle of 19th Century, now this impressive house is home to one of the most professional operas in Europe. Many music lovers in Western Europe still haven't heard about Riga opera, but recently there was a highly respected classical music reviewers from Germany who were very surprised about Riga opera and admitted that it's on the same level with famous Western Europe operas. They praised also the building itself - it has fantastic acoustics. The sculpture you see in forefront is made by sculptor A.Volz - it symbolizes mother who shelter hers childs.





3. Hotel Riga - close by Opera house. Originally it was built in 1878 (architect was the first professional architect with Latvian nationality - Jānis Frīdrihs Baumanis) in eclectism style and was the main Riga hotel in 30ies. Sadly it was destroyed in WW2, but this 50's style eclecticism building was built instead in 1956 and still nowadays serve as one of the main and most prestigious Riga hotels.





4. Besides Hotel Riga there are entrance "gates" to Old Town, which "guards" these 2 buildings. That one to the left to my mind is another one of the most beautiful Riga buildings, with 3 Atlases holding the Earth on their shoulders.



5. Towhnall square is one of the main and most touristy places of Riga Old Town. We will be back there for sure.



6. A bit of Art Nouveau - one of the most famous buildings on Alberta street, northern part of Riga centre. Recently renovated and waiting for it's new residents (appartments for sale)!



7. One of it's neighbours, on Alberta street corner:



Ok, will be enough for this time!
 

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Wow, amazing beauty!

Thanks for this thread. I would have thought it was Vienna without the captions. Art Deco is my favorite style of architecture.

When can I move there, LOL. I wonder if they would let a gringo (ie, American) like me live there.
 

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Manuscripts don't burn!
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Just beautiful! Would like to pay a visit. When can we expect more photos?
 

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Vecais Sakarnis as always - the best pictures of Riga I have seen on this forum. Liels paldies! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
8. House of Blackheads (in Old Town, destroyed in World war 2, rebuilt in 2001, in honor of Riga's 800th Anniversary).



9. Germany embassy in Boulevard Ring.



10. France embassy in Boulevard Ring.




11. Building on Vilandes/Elizabetes street crosssing.




12. Alberta street



13.

 

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I LOVE Riga. I have been there once and i am just in love with it. I consider Riga one of the most beautifull European cities. I hope i can come back there as soon as possible! :cheers:
 
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