• 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!

  • Albania!

    Albania: Village of Theth! Go Now!

    Albania is unique in Europe, starting with its Muslim heritage, but expanding to include food, culture, and even its natural beauty. Explore Albania!

  • United Kingdom!

    United Kingdom: Oxford's Christ Church. Go Now!

    United Kingdom
    This country includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland with four distinct cultures to match. Explore the United Kingdom!

  • Ukraine!

    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

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

  • Germany!

    Germany: Town Hall. Go Now!

    Food, beer, natural beauty, and more create a country that's known for its distinct culture and history. Go Now!

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