Architecture is the most accurate witness to the multifaceted face of Riga. Eclectic and amazing in its diversity, where every era and its current has left its mark. From Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism to mannered Art Nouveau, modernism and wooden architecture.
Alberta Street is regarded as Riga’s Art Nouveau gem, since it is full of splendid historical Art Nouveau-style buildings from one end to the other. The area was erected in a short period of time – from 1901 to 1908, each of the buildings standing alone as an inimitable 20th century architectural achievement. Eight buildings are now recognised as architectural monuments of national significance.
Art Nouveau at 10b Elizabetes Street
Art Nouveau plays an important role in the historic architecture of Riga; it is mostly concentrated in a neighborhood referred to as the ‘Quiet Centre’, which is a 10-minute walk from the Old Town. It is a gorgeous feature among the historic facades of the city.
Riga Dome Cathedral
The foundation stone of Riga Dome Cathedral was laid on July 25, 1211. The last large-scale restoration took place in the late 19th century when the cathedral acquired its present appearance. Today, Riga Dome Cathedral holds services and provide for rich cultural life — various concerts of popular artists take place here.
Riga Russian Theatre
The Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theatre opened in 1883, the oldest Russian theatre outside Russia. Its repertory features Russian and world classics, as well as new plays. The large and small stages present works of all genres, also musical and children's productions, also guest performances and participation in various festivals. In summer 2010, renovation of the building was completed; now the refurbished, historically splendid premises are fully open to spectators.
Latvian National Opera and Ballet
Riga's White House — the Latvian National Opera and Ballet on Aspazijas bulvāris was opened in 1923; an average of six new productions are presented each year, retaining balance between opera and ballet. In total, the opera sees over 200 performances and several symphonic and chamber music concerts a season.
The oldest complex of dwelling houses in Riga was constructed in the 15th century. Their name — Three Brothers, was given a very long time ago and, according to a legend, the buildings were constructed by men from one family. Today, the premises house the Latvian Museum of Architecture and the State Inspection for Heritage Protection.
A unique 19th century's complex of wooden buildings is now renovated in Pārdaugava. A group of friends and associates are actively involved in a project of preserving the historic atmosphere of the quarter and adapting it to the dynamics of the 21st century. Buildings invite you to enjoy Latvian and European design, fairs, art exhibitions and workshops at court-yards. The quarter's special feature is old LADA cars to take you into the past.
Wrought-copper cats stand on the corner turrets of a building facing the Great Guild on Līvu Square, their backs arched and tails poised as if readying for the final leap. The famous and peculiar building, once scandalous and even been the cause of a lawsuit, was named the Cat House because of these figures. Today, the cats are not only squatting on the roof of the building, but they dwell on the ground floor too.
VEF Culture Palace
VEF Culture Palace is among the most interesting venues in uptown Riga. The building was constructed in 1960 and since then it has served as a venue for various cultural events - international meetings, congresses and art exhibitions, as well as performances of well-known foreign artists and local theatre companies. Various events are presented here also today.