• Vatican City!

    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

  • Macedonia!

    Macedonia: Traditional architecture. Go Now!

    Macedonia
    Macedonia is a country still finding its unique identity, but its architecture is already one of a kind. Explore Macedonia!

  • Netherlands!

    Netherlands: Wooden shoes. Go Now!

    Netherlands
    This low country might be small, but it maintains a unique place in history and culture. Explore the Netherlands!

  • Austria!

    Austria: Belvedere Palace. Go Now!

    Austria
    Belvedere Palace (pictured) is just one of many palaces found in Vienna. The capital is a good start to Austria, which also features the Alps, the Lakes District, and incredible history & food. Go Now!

  • Ukraine!

    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

    Ukraine
    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Latvia!

    Latvia: Art Nouveau in Riga. Go Now!

    Latvia
    Latvia is small, but has a diverse history, foods, and architecture (shown), which includes aspects from both Eastern and Western Europe. Begin Your Journey!

Architecture of Latvia

Latvian Architecture - Modern Riga
Modern Riga

From an architectural standpoint, the first and last stop to make is Latvia's capital of Riga. Much of the village or rural architecture was constructed from wood so most of the structures in the countryside today are fairly modern. Riga, however was an influential and powerful city for hundreds of years, particularly as a Hanseatic League city and today as the country's capital, leading to great wealth and construction.

Riga's prosperity began in the 1200s when the city, which has access to the Baltic Sea, joined the Hanseatic League. From this point until the 1400s the city prospered and much of the town's historic district is in the style of the time, primarily Gothic, leaning towards the German variety.

Latvian Architecture - Art Nouveau in Riga
Art Nouveau in Riga

Little still standing construction was built from the 1500s to the 1700s, but in the 1800s the city again grew to prosperity as a trading city. It was during this time that the city again expanded, primarily in the neo-Classical, then in the Art Nouveau style. The city was so prosperous and adopted the Art Nouveau style to such a degree that many consider the city the best example of Art Nouveau in the world.

 

This page was last updated: March, 2013