Home / Europe / Latvia / Riga: Art Nouveau and wooden architecture

Riga: Art Nouveau and wooden architecture

This post is also available in: Deutsch

Riga, the capital of Latvia is an important port on the Daugava river estuary in the Baltic Sea. The city has about 730,000 inhabitants, the majority of whom are Latvians (60%), but there is also an important Russian minority in the city (26%).


Founded in 1201 by Bishop Albrecht von Buxthoeven, throughout the Middle Ages it had importance as a commercial port and soon (1282) it became part of the Hanseatic League, knowing a period of considerable commercial prosperity.

In 1561 the city was annexed to Poland. Subsequently it passed, in 1621, under the Swedish dominion under whose control it remained until 1710 year in which it became part of the Russian Empire. Its importance for the Tsarist empire grew over time, becoming one of the main ports of Russia.

In 1919 it became the capital of independent Latvia. In August 1940 it was annexed to the USSR. Occupied for 3 years (1941-1944) by German troops, it was part of the Soviet Union until its dissolution. In 1991, Riga was again the capital of independent Latvia.


In 1997, UNESCO included the historic center of Riga on the list of world heritage sites, for its Art Nouveau / Jugendstil buildings, and for its wooden ones. Riga enjoyed considerable prosperity during the existence of the Hanseatic League between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, but most of the medieval buildings in the city were destroyed by fire or war.

The city experienced a new period of splendor in the 19th century. When important wooden buildings in the Neoclassical and Art Nouveau / Jugendstil style were built in the suburbs around the historic center. Today, Riga is universally recognized as the city with the most beautiful and rich collection of Art Nouveau buildings in Europe, and for the important wooden architecture of the 19th century.


Plane: Riga International Airport (Riga International Airport, Rīgas Starptautiskā Lidosta) is located about 13 km southwest of the center of Riga. Riga airport is the base of the Latvian airline AirBaltic. In addition to direct air connections, Riga is easily accessible via a stopover in the main European airports. In addition to the Latvian flag carrier Air Baltic, the low cost airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air have frequent flights to Riga.

The airport is connected to the city center by a Rīgas Satiksme bus service (22 and 22A) every 10-30 minutes the journey is done in about 30 minutes.


The city is served by a dense network of public services: buses (52 lines), trams (11 lines) and trolley buses (20 lines). Public transportation runs between 5.30 and 23.30. During the night, several tram and trolleybus lines operate at hourly rates.

Tickets can also be purchased directly from the driver with a surcharge, or purchased in the offices of Rīgas Satiksme or at the “Narvessen” and “Preses Apienība” stores. Once you get on the bus you need to stamp your tickets.

Tourist attractions: what to see in Riga.

Riga climate climate: when to go.



This post is also available in: Deutsch

Booking.com Search FlightsImage