Tag Archives: Art Nouveau

Riga, Winter Snow in the Old Town

latvia Riga Snow covered roofs

In the morning the sun was shining and the roofs of the buildings opposite were still covered by a white blanket of thick snow with a cold frosty sparkle that just shouted out ‘Winter’.   Outside the hotel front door an old lady was efficiently clearing the snow from the taxi rank and the footpaths by scraping away with an oversized plastic shovel that seemed to be difficult work but most effective.

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Ljubljana, Dragon Bridge

The weather was better in Ljubljana and we wandered down the left bank of the river and took in some of the sights that we had missed on our previous visit.  We started at the heart of the city, Prešeren Square, with a statue of Slovenia’s greatest romantic poet France Prešeren that looks out over the square and the Triple Bridge.

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Riga sightseeing

The last day we all agreed would be a ‘free’ day and we were woken early again by the solar alarm clock and were delighted to find another gloriously sunny morning.  After the hotels rather below average breakfast we took to the streets to have a leisurely day in the city.  Some of the others returned to Jurmala and others went shopping, neither of those options appealed to us, we just wanted to go sightseeing again.

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Rosa Kleb’s Endurance Sightseeing Tour of Riga

Walking Tour of Riga

We drove back to the city to rendezvous with our Latvian guide for the afternoon who was going to take us on a walking tour of the city.  We had no idea when we started the tour that this experience was designed as a severe endurance test based on the welcome to the Soviet Army initiation week for new recruits.  She was a lovely woman, and rightfully very proud of her city but she hadn’t fully made the transition out of the do as you are told’ communist era and she pushed us through the city at a punishing pace, even at one time refusing a perfectly reasonable request to stop for a just a brief moment to purchase drinks.

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Bratislava Old Town

Bratislava Blue Church

It was designed in 1907 by a man called Ödön Lechner who was a Hungarian Art Nouveau architect and whose favourite colour was obviously blue because the exterior is painted in various shades of cobalt, sapphire and sky with an indigo roof and blue-black windows.  And the theme was continued inside as well because again the predominant colour was a vivid sky blue that gave a pleasing and cheerful ambiance to the building.

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Riga – Art Nouveau

Riga Art Nouveau

On the first morning of the visit to Riga we walked around the Art Nouveau district where previously grand buildings that had fallen into disrepair during the communist period of occupation are once more being restored to former glory.

Art Nouveau was an international architectural style that flourished for a brief period in Europe between 1880 and 1914.  It was an elaborate statement of bourgeois wealth and influence and a rejection of aristocratic stoic classicism that had previously dominated.

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