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The Most Exuberant Building in Riga


There, I've said it.

Riga, Latvia is known for its hundreds of Art Nouveau buildings—possibly more per capita than anywhere else—but one of the first is one of the boldest and most exuberant buildings I've ever seen.


It's full of detail and color, and seems, to me, freer than even Gaudi's buildings in Barcelona.


It was built in 1903, designed by Paul Mandelstamm, an architect and engineer who is responsible for many other Riga buildings, as well as part of the planning of the city's first tram lines and waterworks.


Mandelstamm, a Latvian Jew, was born in Riga when it was part of the Russian empire. He was executed in 1941 under Latvia's occupation by the Nazis.



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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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