A century ago, Riga, as well as other cities in Europe was inspired by the breath of surprised creative freedom and a luxury style of architecture and life. The nature rejoicing in an armful of flowers, ornaments, curved sleek lines, admiring the beauty of the antique, fantasizing about the sphinxes, griffins, and guard Psakhie, Art Nouveau made Riga beautiful, mysterious and provocative. Look up and discover the most beautiful art nouveau buildings in Europe!
40 percent of the buildings in the center of Riga were built in Art Nouveau, which are more than in other European cities, in addition, those who understand the architecture and art, believe that the Riga Art Nouveau has a special power and expressiveness which preserved for future generations the Old Town architecture. Riga wooden houses and buildings of Art Nouveau, the historic center of Riga are on the list of the protected cultural sites by UNESCO. Art Nouveau appeared in Europe at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, and its triumphal march continued until the World War II. This ornamental style, based on curved lines, asymmetry in the composition and irregular lines in the rhythms, the main theme - the nature with the ancient art and architecture, Art Nouveau was expressed in the functional buildings and richly decorated façade. This is achieved by all possible means of construction: the shape of windows and doors, bay windows, to the reliefs, sculptures, ornamental lines or fields of stained glass. However, is important not only for the style front facade, but the overall image, so the "Art Nouveau architecture" means the interior, the shape of cutlery and even the wardrobe of the inhabitants.
Riga Museum of Art Nouveau is the newest museum in Riga. It opened on April 23, 2009. It is located in the apartment where the great Latvian architect Konstantin Pēkšēns (1859 - 1928) lived and worked until 1907. The museum building is situated on the street 12 Albert. It was built in 1900 as a private home by Pēkšēns K. His project was developed jointly with K. Pekshenom Eizens Laube, while still a student of architecture. The museum was restored but the interior is authentic as in 1903.In 2007 began a study space, uncovering and fixing the original interior decoration. The restoration work lasted from 2008 to 2009 under the leadership of senior master Gunita Chakar. The museum exhibition presents the situation from Riga apartment of early 20th century. The author of the interior design is the architect Liesma Markov. The first time for visitors the museum opened three rooms of the museum an entrance hall, a living room and a fireplace. After opening the second part of the exhibition, is available for inspection and is almost completely renovated , the characteristic time of Art Nouveau. It is planned to open a digital exposure.
Art Nouveau in Latvia is closely linked with the national romanticism, so parts of the buildings can be seen not only characteristic of European decorative, but also references to spiritual values. Buildings that characterize the national romanticism were projected by Eizens Laube and Janis-Friedrich Bauman. They are still considered the pioneers of the national culture. Places in Riga, where Art Nouveau flourished luxuriantly all are on Albert Street and the nearby so-called "embassy district." However, the great features of Art Nouveau architecture can be found in other parts of the city - in the Old Riga, on the street and even in Brivibas Agenskalns (in Pardaugava) . In addition, the leaves in the shadow of Riga Art Nouveau gems other Latvian cities, while in Liepaja, for example, in this style were built not only houses, but also industrial buildings. Fans of art nouveau definitely worth to visit Riga Art Nouveau Museum, located in the apartment of architect Konstantin Pēkšēns in the house, which he himself designed - Albert Street, 12. From the entryway to the dishes in the living room is a great example of art nouveau.
In Riga, there are about 800 buildings in the Art Nouveau style, most of them concentrated in the city center, namely, on Albert Street and the so-called silent heart, or the embassy district, where every building is worthy of attention. Therefore, when you go in Riga, not only to notice paving and shop windows, but look up - what an amazing architecture! Here are the most interesting buildings of Art Nouveau:
Street Audeju, 7, Old Town (1899, A. Ashenkampf, M. Shervinsky). The first Art Nouveau building in Riga, with typical stylized floral motifs (irises, flowering trees, reeds), and masks. Street Audeju, 9, Old Town (1900, K. Pēkšēns). The building is interesting, peculiar to art nouveau motif of the sun, symbolizing the flourishing of new life.
Street Theatre, 9, Old Town (1903, G. Shel, Shel F.). The house is decorated by mythological characters: Athena and Hermes. The structure is a crowned figure of Atlantis, which hold on the shoulders of the Globe made of glass and zinc, illuminated at night. o Valnu Street, 2, Old Town (1911, E. Frizendorf). The portal with expressive sculptural reliefs will draw your attention. Copper wrought characters of Greek mythology - Asclepius (god of healing) and Moira Atropos (the goddess of fate), symbolize the course of human life, health and employment.
Smilsu Street, 2, Old Town (1902). The building is one of the finest examples of Art Nouveau architecture - the facade is decorated with peacock, a symbol of beauty and self-knowledge in the art nouveau. Germany under the bay window is considered the most beautiful female character in the architecture of Riga's Art Nouveau.
Smilsu Street, 8, Old Town (1902, G. Shel, Shel F.). The house is richly decorated with masks, hybrid creatures, plant elements. Both the portal is decorated with typical Art Nouveau melancholic female image with eyes closed. The decor of the opening entry specialists is considered an example of ornamental forms of Art Nouveau.
Terbatas Street, 15/17, in the center (1905, C. Pēkšēns). The building is one of the first buildings of national romanticism in Riga, with an expressive silhouette and architectonic decoration, created from a combination of different building materials. Calcareous tufa for facade, on a plan of the customer, was assembled from fragments Staburags.
Brivibas street 47, in the center (1909, E. Laube). A great monument of national romanticism with the dynamic composition of volume, with bay windows, made at different levels, vertical plates accented roof, gables and tall conical crown angle.
Elizabetes Street, 10a and 10b, in the center (1903, Eisenstein). Buildings "dressed" in an unusually rich and sumptuous Art Nouveau decoration ornaments. Woven into some of the decorative elements of the building № 10a motive springs from the leaves is associated with a place of Eisenstein - he was head of Road Traffic Board of Vidzeme province. The house number 10b stands out from the composition of the masks, peacocks, sculptural heads and geometric shapes, crowning the facade, as well as the grounds of the facade, covered with blue ceramic plates on the upper floors of the building. The stairwell is luxuriously decorated.
Albert Street, 4 (1904, Eisenstein). The most elegant and artistic, the most eclectically original decorative art nouveau building. Attention is drawn by the three heads above the cornice of jellyfish with their mouths open in a scream (similar to the motif used in the building of the Vienna Secession). The facade studded with figures of eagles and lions, winged lion reliefs. In the center of the building is a winged woman with the head of a relief that symbolizes the sun and protection.
Strelnieku Street, 4a, in the embassy area (1905, Eisenstein). The building is an example of the eclectic, extreme branch of decorative art nouveau style, close to the blinds of excessive decoration, in which a set of traditional forms of historical styles pierce all possible combinations of Art Nouveau motifs.
Vilandes Street, 10, the embassy district (1908 K Pēkšēns). The structure in the style of national romanticism with an asymmetrical composition of the facade, which is used in the decoration of stucco of different colors and textures. Pay attention to the reliefs with classic scenes - dancing girls with garlands and wreaths of flowers. The entrance to the building is shaped like a keyhole.
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