Art Nouveau Riga - Days 3-4

AUG 12,2018 - AUG 12,2018 (1 DAYS)

Latvia

1 DAYS

Citywalk

Days 3-4 - Art Nouveau and other Cultural Attractions in Riga:

Part 1 Main Attractions: Audēju iela 7, Kalēju iela 23, Šķūņu iela 4, Šķūņu Street 10/12, Tirgoņu iela 4,  Latvian National Opera, Blaumaņa iela 28, Elizabetes iela 22, Bergs Bazaar (Berga bazārs), Hotel Bergs, Latvian Puppet Theatre, Radisson Blu Hotel, Esplanāde Park, Riga Nativity of Christ Cathedral, Latvian National Museum of Art.

Part 2 Main Attractions: Elizabetes iela 39-41, Elizabetes street 33, Elizabetes iela 10 A, Elizabetes iela 19, Riga Ferry Terminal, Strēlnieku iela 4A, Alberta iela 13, Alberta iela 11, Alberta iela 12 (Art Nouveau Museum), Alberta iela 8, Alberta iela 4, Alberta iela 2, Alberta iela 2A, Alberta iela 1, The Flying Frog cafe' and restaurant, Kronvalda Park, City Canal (Pilsētas Kanāls), Latvian National Theatre.

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Duration: 1 day - 2 days. Distance (two parts): 7 km. Weather: any weather. Start & End: The Central Bus Station / Wellton Hotel and Spa.

Introduction:  First, we shall explore several individual buildings in central Old Riga (Vecrīga). Later, we'll walk along Elizabetes iela (from south to north). We'll finish our route with the stunning Alberta iela and walk back southward to Old Riga. The majority of the Art Nouveau buildings are individual houses. Very few of them are museums. Our route goes from south to north. 

Art Nouveau architecture is one of Riga’s claims to fame. Over a third of all buildings in Riga are examples of this unique school of design. When Art Nouveau was at the height of its popularity, Riga just experienced an unprecedented financial boom. This incredible wealth also coincided with an earlier lifting of a ban against erecting masonry buildings outside the city walls. In medieval times, all of the wooden buildings outside the ramparts would be razed to prevent an invading army from using them for shelter.

One of the city’s most prolific Art Nouveau architects was Mikhail Eisenstein (1867 - 1921), father of the legendary Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein who gave the world such cinematic treasures as Battleship Potemkin and Ivan the Terrible. He is best known for his collection of buildings on Alberta iela that is famous for its unusual sculpture, coloured bricks and tiles, geometric ornaments and uniquely shaped windows.

Other Latvians would also leave their mark on Riga and Konstantīns Pēkšēns (1859 - 1928) designed no less than 250 buildings including the iconic edifice at Alberta 12, which the architect once called home and that now houses the Riga Art Nouveau Museum. A founder of the Riga Architects Union and a Riga councilman, he embraced all of the styles of the times and moved on from the eclecticism so popular in mid to late-1800s Riga to Art Nouveau and its later offshoot, national romanticism. The latter was an attempt by Latvian architects to incorporate elements of ethnic mythology and folklore into their designs.

Art Nouveau should NOT be confused, as it often is, with 1930s Art Deco. The ‘new art’ or ‘new style’ , also referred to as Jugendstil, is a slightly older form of expression that gained popularity at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. If something looks sleek, angular and shiny -  it’s probably Art Deco. If you’re faced with elaborate, flamboyant naked maidens, floral motifs and funky gargoyles, it’s most likely Art Nouveau.

But Art Nouveau wasn’t only relegated to the façades of Riga buildings. The flowery style became a part of everyday life and was present in well-to-do homes in furniture, flatware and fashion and was commercially used in graphic design, most famously in advertisement posters. For a fascinating look at an Art Nouveau apartment where even the bathroom and kitchen are adorned with Jugendstil elements do not miss the Riga Art Nouveau Museum where you'll have the opportunity to be dressed in period costume. 

Tip 1:

Part 1 from Riga Bus Station to the Latvian National Museum of Art:

Days 3-4 Part 1 Itinerary: From Wellton Hotel and Spa we head SOUTH, 30 m. Turn right onto Vecpilsētas iela, 190 m. Turn right to stay on Vecpilsētas iela, 55 m. Turn right onto Audēju iela and look to your right at the house at Audēju iela 7. One of the first Art Nouveau buildings in Rīga. The building has an asymmetrical façade with stylised plants – irises, dandelions etc. On the Audēju Street façade, there is a relief presenting a stylised apple tree – the symbol of creative power. There are apples in the branches of the tree, and they symbolise wealth, productivity and welfare. There’s also a small bay window with surprised faces on either side. The building now houses a design institute:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Head east on Audēju iela toward Kalēju iela, 55 m. Turn left and walk 90 m. onto Kalēju iela to see the house at Kalēju iela 23. One of Riga’s most beautiful buildings was the brainchild of Pauls Mandelštams, who is also considered to be the city’s first Jewish architect. You can’t miss its grand entrance way embellished with daisies and a hanging lamp made to look like a flower. The central element in the building is the bay window encircled with chestnut leaves and flowers. At the centre of the bay window – a gilded representation of the sun, something that can be seen in various versions in the façades of many Art Nouveau buildings in Rīga. The building now is home to offices and a café:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Head northwest on Kalēju iela toward Teātra iela, 200 m. Turn left onto Kaļķu iela, 70 m. Turn right onto Šķūņu iela and walk 35 m. to find the house at Šķūņu iela 4. The same architect as in Kalēju iela 23 - Pauls Mandelštams. The house is very simplistic and hardly worth our attention. Figures of children are seen on the entrance portal. Such figures usually represented intermediaries between the spiritual and the material world. Art Nouveau stained glass is seen in the windows of the stairwell. The building is now full of offices and looks quite neglected:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Walk further north-west to arrive to Šķūņu Street 10/12. Completely different story.  This striking art nouveau building completed in 1902 was designed by the Baltic German duo of Friedrich Scheffel and Heinrich Scheel. Unfortunately, most people don’t even notice it because the street is so narrow. Its beautiful features including the watchdog at the top of the façade are best appreciated from Amatu iela. The façade of the building is decorated with stylized plants – reeds, poppies, narcissus and chestnut leaves. Elements of flora are also seen in the balcony railings and the metalwork on the roof. The main accent of the building is the ornate and massive two-story bay window, decorated richly with motifs of the poppy. The dog above the bay window is guarding the building. The initials of the original owner (businessman called Detmann) can also be seen in the façade. The architect is Heinrihs Šēls:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The same owner, Detmann,  owned in the past the building at Tirgoņu iela 4 (adjacent to the Lido restaurant in our blog of Riga Day 2. The symmetrical façade is accented with a bay window that has balconies on either side. The entrance portal is accented with sculptures. The pilasters at the corner of the building turn into expressive sculptures of a female and a male figure. Art Nouveau metal carvings decorate the windows of the two lower floors. Our opinion is that you may skip also this building and turn to the Riga Opera House: 

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We change direction and look forward to explore the eastern parts of Old Riga (Vecrīga) from south to north. We head, first, to the Opera House surrounded by charming gardens and water. From Tirgoņu iela 4 to the Latvian National Opera: Head north on Tirgoņu iela toward Šķūņu iela, 35 m. Turn right onto Šķūņu iela, 30 m. Turn left onto Amatu iela, 120 m. Turn right toward Riharda Vāgnera iela, 80 m. Continue onto Riharda Vāgnera iela, 170 m. Turn left onto Teātra iela, 70 m. Turn left to stay on Teātra iela, 60 m. The Latvian National Opera, Aspazijas bulvāris 3 is on your right. From Šķūņu Street 10/12 to the Opera building: head southeast on Šķūņu iela toward Mazā Monētu iela, 80 m. Turn left onto Kaļķu iela, 120 m. Turn right onto Riharda Vāgnera iela, 170 m. Turn left onto Teātra iela, 70 m. Turn left to stay on Teātra iela, 60 m. Turn left and the Latvian National Opera, Aspazijas bulvāris 3 is on the right. The Latvian National Opera is the home of Latvian opera, choir, orchestra and national ballet. This stunning building stands between Old Riga and the City Canal. The opera and ballet of Latvia have established themselves well on the international stage. The Latvian National Opera is housed in a white-washed building constructed in year 1863, designed by architect Ludwig Bohnstedt. It was destroyed by a gas leak in 1882. It was reopened in 1887 and included the city’s very first electric power station, whose tall smoke stack is still visible today.  It was fully renovated during 1990-1995 to provide best conditions for both performers and audience. A new annex, combining 19th century and today's architectural elements, was added to the building in 2001. in 1912, Pāvuls Jurjāns opened the Latvian Opera House. Unfortunately, the outbreak of WW1 led to the departure of Latvia's first opera singers to Russia. In 1918, Jāzeps Vītols revived the house and kept it running until the Soviet takeover of 1940, after which it was renamed the Latvian S.S.R. State Opera and Ballet Theatre and its repertoire was significantly affected by the Soviet ideology. In 1991, along with Latvia’s independence, the theatre regained its original name and artistic freedom. There are over 200 performances annually. The tickets are reasonably priced. The most expensive tickets are around 40 euros and the cheapest ones less than 10 euros. The Opera is closed from June to End of August. In other months - DO NOT MISS any available performance. When it is sold out, you can ask about standing tickets. Go to the Box Office at 18.00 on the day and there might be available places in the 'standing section'. Riga has an annual opera festival period in mid-June which definitely might include opera/ballet special events in this spectacular building. The park opposite the Opera, the fountain and the building façade – are, all, WONDERFUL in a sunny day. Do not miss the fountain and the small bronze sculpture in front of the building:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

A sculpture of Māris Rūdolfs Liepa (27 July 1936, Riga – 26 March 1989, Moscow) a Soviet Latvian ballet dancer (male) :

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

If you walk several metres north from the Ballet dancer statue - you see another charming sculpture of the Mayor and his Wife and Dog (George Armitstead 4th Mayor of Riga). George Armitstead was the mayor of Riga from 1901 to 1912. His wife was Cecile Pychlau:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We shall walk, now, approx. 1 km to move to the eastern part of Vecrīga. Before entering the l-o-n-g Elizabets street - we shall visit another impressive building in narrow Blaumana iela 28. Go back to the southern side of the Opera building. Head southeast on Aspazijas bulvāris toward Teātra iela, 70 m. Turn left toward Krišjāņa Barona iela, 35 m. Slight right toward Krišjāņa Barona iela, 40 m. Turn left toward Krišjāņa Barona iela, 30 m. Turn right toward Krišjāņa Barona iela, 10 m. Turn left onto Krišjāņa Barona iela, 750 m (!). Turn right onto Blaumaņa iela for 40 m. and the Art Noveau house at Blaumaņa iela 28 is on the right. The house is packed into a narrow space where Blaumaņa and Pērses streets meet at Barona street. This Art Nouveau building was designed by Karl Johann Felsko in 1903. It is covered in dragons, wolves and a variety of other macabre animals:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Now, we return to Elizabetes iela - starting at the house in £22. From Blaumaņa iela 28 head southeast toward Marijas iela, 190 m. Turn right onto busy Marijas iela, 350 m. Turn right onto Elizabetes iela, 50 m. and Elizabetes iela 22 is on the right. In its own time was the largest residential building in Riga. it occupies a part of a district between Elizabetes, Marijas and Alfreda Kalnina streets.

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

A bit more northward to Elizabetes 22 there is a samll alley to your right (east) pointing to The Bergs Bazaar (Berga bazārs). An historical pedestrian village-like enclave originally constructed between 1887–1900. It has been turned into a small, stylish and trendy shopping and dining attraction. Simply stroll about stopping to rest on one of the many benches:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

A bit further north, along Elizabetes iels, on your right - a marvelous blooming oasis in front of Hotel Bergs. A complex of a five-star, small, luxury hotel, contemporary offices space and private rental apartments:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Further north, in the intersection of Elizabetes iela and Krišjāņa Barona iela - we see, on our right,  the Latvian Puppet Theater (Latvijas Leļļu teātris) (http://www.lelluteatris.lv/en/192-kase).  The Latvian Puppet Theatre offers performances in either Latvian or Russian every day, but shows often sell out, so buy tickets at its box office as soon as possible. Tickets office is open: 10:00-18:00, SAT, SUN 10:00-17:00. There are more than 30 plays in Russian and in Latvian for children from 2 years at the repertoire of the theatre. Performances take place at the Great Hall, Small Hall and the small Puppet Museum, which is located in the same building (K.Barona 16-18):

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We continue walking northward along Elizabetes iela. Now, crossing Krišjāņa Barona iela (on our left and right) - we see the Vērmanes Park on our left. Meanwhile, we skip this nice park and insist walking along Elizabetes iela.  500 m. north to this intersection - we see the high-rising Radisson Blu Hotel with its 25th floor Sky Bar restaurant. This restaurant allows the BEST, panoramic view of Riga. BUT, you must order food in this bar for having this view. This restaurant is CLOSED in the morning hours. So, we took the elevator (FREE...) to the 24th floor and took magnificent photos of this wonderful city - through the glass windows of the highest floors in the Radisson Blu hotel. Note: these windows allow only 270° panoramic view. You have to be prompt, polite and assertive with your presence in this property. Come with a reasonable code of dress and nobody will say a word !

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Before you cross the Elizabetes street and enter the park - continue walking several steps. see the building at Elizabetes iela 67 near restaurant Lido Vērmanītis:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Walk 90 m. further nort and DO NOT miss the  Splendid Palace on your right. Old cinema building. The external facade, although hidden from the street, is lovely. There is a very good bistro/restaurant inside with friendly staff. In the evenings - it is a cinema/theatre. Movies are screened in their original language but with perfect atmosphere and quality:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Opposite the Radisson BLu Hotel ,west to the Rhotel, is the Riga Nativity of Christ Cathedral (Russian Orthodox Church) and the Esplanāde Park.  We descend from the hotel high floors, cross Elizabetes iela and have a LONG detour in the Esplanāde Park. Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Our main points of interest into this park are: the Latvian National Museum of Art graces  on one (north) side, while the cupolas of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral majestically rise in the other (south). There are no real attraction drawing you to the park on its own. We skipped the Latvian Art Academy, residing adjacent to the museum. The park used to be teeming with Soviet-era sculpture.  The Esplanāde Park was once an unruly and unkempt hill known as Senais or Kubes kalns. It was mentioned as early as the 12th century as a staging point for enemies to attack the area, which is why it was finally levelled by military decree in 1784. The flattened land later served as a parade ground for the local garrison. It was converted into a  park during Riga’s 700th anniversary celebrations in year 1901. The present greenery was created in 1950 as a community park. The park includes statues of Prince and General Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly (born 27 December 1761, died 24 September 1818),  a Russian Field Marshal and Minister of War during Napoleon's invasion in 1812,

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly, Russia postage stamp, 2011:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

a renowned writer Rainis and the Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The Riga Nativity of Christ Cathedral (Kristus Piedzimšanas pareizticīgo katedrāle) is situated a bit south-west from the statue of Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly. The golden domes of the cathedral are quite visible from many parts of Riga and the church is a very nice landmark. The gleaming gold domes that sparkle in the sun are an unforgettable sight. Really nice stonework on the outside and very well decorated on the inside. Lots of gold and beautiful icons inside. It is known that photography is NOT allowed inside Russian/Orthdox churches. BUT, we had seen several visitors taking photos - and we did the same. Women need to cover heads, so take a head scarf. It was built between 1876 and 1883, with decorations made by the firm of August Volz, during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire. It is the largest Orthodox cathedral in the Baltic provinces built with the blessing of the Russian Tsar Alexander II.  During the end of the 19th century the neo-Byzantine style building was the most expensive edifice of that time in Riga, its interior was uniquely rich and of high artistic value. The cathedral was renowned for its outstanding collection of ancient and valuable icons. Three iconostasis painted by the brightest lecturers of St Petersburg Academy of Art and the famous Russian painter Vasily Vereshchagin. During the First World War German troops occupied Riga and turned its largest Russian Orthodox cathedral into a Lutheran church. In independent Latvia, it became, again, an Orthodox cathedral in 1921. Soviet authorities closed down the cathedral and converted its building into a planetarium. The cathedral has been restored since Latvia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. 

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The Latvian National Museum of Art, Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1 (closed on Mondays) is the greatest surprise of your day 3 in Riga or during this itinerary. It is situated next to the Academy of Art. You see Magen David (Jewish Stars) in the front facade of the Academy - since, part of the funds for construction of the academy - were raised by Latvian Jews. OPening hours: TUE:10.00 – 18.00, WED: 10.00 – 18.00, THU: 10.00 – 18.00, FRI: 10.00 – 20.00, SAT: 10.00 – 17.00, SUN: 10.00 – 17.00. Prices: 3 euros, concessions: 1.50 euros:

Academy of Art:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Reconstruction of the Latvian National Museum of Art lasted several years and was finished on 1 December 2015. The building was designed by the German architect Wilhelm Neumann and built in 1905.

Rear side (into the Esplanāde Park) of Latvian National Museum of Art:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The main entrance from 11 Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Latvian National Museum of Art - the lovely Kafenica. Beautifully designed:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Take the elevator and start your visit at the stunning floor 5 (wooden attic) or CUPOLA. More contemporary art (during AUG 2018: hand-knitted rugs, Transfiguration by Egils Rozenbers). Fantastic design of wooden cupola with giant white wood beams and a transparent GLASS FLOOR. Unbelievable design. A great, unique experience of design and exhibition space ! DO NOT MISS floor 5 !!:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

From the cupola you can go out onto two roof terraces with views over the City. Fantastic view from the balcony in floor 5 to the south:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Radisson Blu Hotel from southern terrace in Floor 5:Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Riga Nativity of Christ Cathedral (Kristus Piedzimšanas pareizticīgo katedrāle) from Attic at floor 5 - breathtaking sight:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

View to the north, Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We descended to floor 4 (with glass floor)

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

to see a temporary exhibition of the Latvian painter Niklavs Strunke (1894–1966). One of the most outstanding representatives of the 20th century Latvian Avant-garde. He was a painter, graphic artist, book decorator, designer and theatrical artist. During summer 2018 the museum displayed his paintings of Italy.

Niklavs Strunke, capri, 1924:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Niklavs Strunke, Florentine in Winter, 1929:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Strunke made the cover to the book "1000 & One Nights":

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Floor 3 includes several unheard Latvian Artists.

Karlis Padegs, 1952:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Floor 3 - Latvian Art - Janis Tidemanis, 1930s:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Floor 3 - Latvian Art - Leo Svemps, 1937:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Floor 3 - Latvian Art - Niklavs Strunke, 1937:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Floor 3 - Latvian Art - Jekabe Kazalke (1895-1920), Circus:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Jekabe Kazalke, Ladies at the Seaside, 1920:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Floor 3 - Latvian Art - Alexandra Belcova, Tennis Player, 1927:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Teodoris Zalkains, 1928, Portrait of Mussorgsky:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Arturs Baumanis (1847-1904), 1887, Horse of Destiny:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Janis Rozentalis, 1894, Coming from the Church:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Do not miss the empty Central Hall in Floor 3:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

From Floor 3 we recommend using the pretty stairway. A A good photo-op of the interiors of this beautiful building and gem:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Floor 2 - The Soviet era, Janis Osis, Rowing Race, 1958:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Floor 2 - The Soviet era, Leonids Maurins, 1972, Silvery Night Fishing:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Floor 2 - The Soviet era, Meija Tabaka, 1974, Wedding at Rundale Palace:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Floor 2 - Central Hall:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We exit the museum from its north entrance in 11 Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela and walk east to the intersection of Elizabetes iela and Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela. Then, we turn left and walk northward along Elizabetes iela. Skip to tip 2 below.

Citywalk

Tip 2:

Part 2 Main Attractions: Elizabetes iela 39-41, Elizabetes street 33, Elizabetes iela 10 A, Elizabetes iela 19, Riga Ferry Terminal, Strēlnieku iela 4A, Alberta iela 13, Alberta iela 11, Alberta iela 12 (Art Nouveau Museum),  Alberta iela 8, Alberta iela 4, Alberta iela 2, Alberta iela 2A, Alberta iela 1, The Flying Frog cafe' and restaurant, Kronvalda Park, City Canal (Pilsētas Kanāls), Latvian National Theatre. 

Part 2 from Vērmanes Park further north along Elizabetes iela and back to  Old Riga and Riga Bus Station:

We leave the intersection of Elizabetes iela and Krišjāņa with our face to the north. After walk of 150 m. we arrive to the house at Elizabetes iela 39-41on our right. A combination of new and old. The facade of the building and its elements are devoted to the Latvian chess player (world champion) Mikhail Talis (Tal):

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

55 m. north, still on our right, is Elizabetes iela 33. Elizabetes street 33 has very ornate facade as you see, including many elements as a predecessors of coming Art Nouveau architecture fashion. Mikhail Osipovich Eisenstein (Mihails Eizenšteins) born at 17 September 1867 and died at 2 July 1920) was a civil engineer and architect working in Riga, when the city was part of the Russian Empire. He was active as an architect in the city at a time of great economic expansion and large-scale construcion and building, which coincided with the flourishing of Art Nouveau architecture. During the years 1901–1906, Eisenstein designed many of what are the best-known Art Nouveau buildings of Riga. His son, Sergei Eisenstein, became a well-known Soviet film director ("The Battleship Potemkin"). Other buildings in Riga by the same architect: Alberta iela 2, Alberta iela 4, Alberta iela 6, Alberta iela 8, Alberta iela 13, Elizabetes iela 10a,  Strēlnieku iela 4a:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Note, opposite, at Elizabetes iela 10 A the embossed sculptures among the large windows. Built in 1903. Architect: Mihails Eizenšteins:

 Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We continue walking along Elizabetes iela - now our face to the north-west. The street changes its direction: now - from east to west. We cross Antonijas iela on our right. Further west - we cross Strēlnieku iela and we arrive to Hotel Monika on the intersection of Elizabetes iela and Pulkveža Brieža iela. Elizabetes iela becomes a wide avenue:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Walk forward 65 m. further and arrive to Elizabetes iela 19 - Restorāns "Vincents". A brick-built apartments building, built around 1900. Eclecticism and neoclassicism:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Elizabetes iela 9 - 11:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

As we approach the end of Elizabetes iela - the Kronvalda Park is on our left and our face is to the west. Elizabetes iela ends where it meets Eksporta iela on its right. Here, you can see, frequently, the Retro Tram #7 slows down:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

When we turn right (north) to Eksporta iela - we see the Riga Ferry Terminal in front (west) of us. It is rather difficult and complicated to cross the tram lines and approach the water (no cross-lights). The steady growth of the cruise ship market and of ferry traffic volumes in the Baltic Sea required the port capacity of the Freeport of Riga to be increased. The new terminal entered into service in 2013. To get from/to the city center to/from the port, passengers can take trams: No.5, 7, 6, 9, 11:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

After crossing, from east to west, the Tram rails, the cars' park lot we approach the water of the Ferry Terminal. You see a wooden bridge. You can walk on this bridge - BUT, it doesn't connect you with the western bank of the terminal:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Now, we retrace our steps and walk back along Elizabetes iela from west to east - turning left (north) to explore more Art Nouveau street in Old Riga. Immediately, on your right, at Elizabetes iela 1 is the United Arab Emirates embassy. Head east on Elizabetes iela toward Ausekļa iela, 400 m. Arrive to the intersection of Hotel Monika (on your left) and turn left (north-east) to Strēlnieku iela. Walk 140 m. to arrive to Strēlnieku iela 4A on your right. This Art Nouveu (Jugendstil) building was designed by Mihails Eizenšteins (1867—1921) and built in 1905. Its façade is an amazing sight to behold. The building is abundant with different constructional elements in the facade’s design. The wealth of ornamental details can be clearly appreciated on a closer look, with its combination of traditional historical forms and Art Nouveau motifs. Until the early 1990s it was used as Apartments Building, as Latvian, German, Estonian and Russian schools and as Youth Hostel (during the tears 1957-1993).  In 1993/1994 it was renovated for the needs of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and inaugurated by King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden. The facade was renovated, while in the interior some specific details were saved:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

100 m. further north-east along Strēlnieku iela, at # 9 : the only shop in Riga to exclusively sell Art Nouveau merchandise. Buy small plaster faces from Riga's most famous facades, silk scarves with art nouveau designs, mugs, greeting cards, books and linens. Strēlnieku iela is an interesting road. Ypu can see pretty, nicely-preserved wooden houses more north-east along this road. BUT, we recommend turning back from house at #9 and walk back with your face to the south-west and, almost immeduiately, turn LEFT (south-east) to Alberta iela. Nearly every building on this street is an Art Nouveau masterpiece and roughly half of them were designed by Mikhail Eisenstein including the buildings at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 13. The road was built in 1901 and named after Bishop Albert, who founded Riga in 1201. The embassies of Belgium and Ireland are also located on Alberta iela. This cobblestone street is only about 250 meters long, yet each of its buildings is a perfectly preserved architectural delight:

The most stunning example is arguably the latter, Alberta iela 13, that boasts a massive woman’s face, a screaming woman, a satyr and large busts of crowned representations of lady liberty. Expect heavy reconstructions in this building in the near future:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The building at Alberta iela 11 is a classic example of Latvian national romanticism designed by Eižens Laube in 1908, another prolific local architect of the age:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

At Alberta iela 12 resides the Riga Art Nouveau Museum. After you have been wowed by the buildings lining Alberta Iela, step into the Museum for a reconstructed 1920s apartment. A nice touch is that the attendants are decked out in period gear. The Museum is a completely authentic Art Nouveau apartment. House Number 12 of the street is the lavish former residence of the Latvian architect Konstantīns Pēkšēns, a prolific artist and engineer who was responsible for the creation of no less than 250 buildings in Riga and also designed this impressive building as well. In 2009 it opened to the public as the Riga Art Nouveau Museum. Its rooms are decorated with displays of period artwork, clothing, furniture and tableware from the early 20th century. The MAGNIFICENT spiral staircase and ceiling frescoes evoke images of a royal palace. Visit the museum from Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays). Opening hours: 
Everyday, except Mondays: 10.00 - 18.00. Prices: adult - 9 euros, concessions -   5 euros. There is a 2 euro surcharge to the ticket price for photos. The stairwell and hallway are free to photograph:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

There is an opportunity to put on some period clothing and get your picture taken:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Alberta iela 9:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

​Riga - Alberta iela 8 - living house by Mikhail Eisenstein built in 1903:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Alberta iela 4: Built in 1904. Architect: Mihails Eizenšteins:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Alberta iela 2:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

At Alberta iela 2A you’ll also find a sphinx or two guarding entrances and windows shaped like old keyholes. The famous philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin (1909 - 1997) lived at No.20 (years 1909-1915) and a plaque commemorates this fact:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

​From  Antonijas iela - you can see the Alberta iela 1 house. An Art Nouveau building in Rīga. Built in 1901. Architects: Heinrihs Šēls and Fridrihs Šefels: 

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We start now walking back to Riga centre. On our way back - we'll visit several more attractions. Head southeast on Alberta iela toward Antonijas iela. Turn right onto Antonijas iela, 100 m. Turn right onto Elizabetes iela. At the intersection of Elizabetes iela (#31A) and Antonijas iela, on your left, resides the Lidojosa Varde (The Flying Frog) cafe' and restaurant, 31a Elizabetes iela. Pen: 10.00 - 01.00, FRI,SUN: 10.00 - 03.00. Nicely decorated inside. Delicious food. Friendly staff. Reasonable prices. Most of the diners are local:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

From Elizabetes iela turn LEFT (south-west) to Antonijas iela. Walk 230 m. along Antonijas iela and cross Kalpaka bulvāris to enter Kronvalda  Park. Kronvalda Park is the oldest park in Riga. Kronvalda Park was, originally, called Strēlnieku Garden. During 1930's the park was named after member of the Young Latvians Movement Atis Kronvalds. Its main asset is the City Canal running through it. The city canal splits the park into two parts. It is bordered by Elizabetes, Kristina Valdemāra streets, Kronvalda and Kalpaka boulevards. Another institute into the park is the Riga Congress Centre. The park also includes a huge, stunning fountain, which offers a show of lights and colors at night. There is also a playground, roller-skating tracks, and the city canal which offers boat and water bicycle rides during the summer:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The statue of the 18th century Russian author and poet, Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA), titled Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More, runs from 2nd of June until 28th of October 2018 - sculpture of James Beckett, Palace Ruin, 2016:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We continued walking along the is MARVELOUS: shady, tree-lined, neatly maintained:Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The section of the City Canal from the Kronvalda Park until the Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela ends with the Latvijas Nacionalais Teatris on your right (west). The Latvian National Theatre was founded on November 30, 1919. The Great Hall can seat 850 people, the Actor's Hall - 100 people:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

From the Latvian National Theatre - we can head back to the Old City of Riga or have lunch/dinner (again) in Lido Alus sēta, Tirgoņu iela 6. 

view of St. Peter's Church from Tirgoņu iela:

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

ekaba iela - Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA):

Citywalk in , Latvia, visiting things to do in Latvia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Please sign in to start using your backpack.