A small distance to the north-east of the Old Town of Riga, there is a well-known embassy quarter in the neighbourhood of Albert street where all houses have the elements of the so called Jugendstil.
In different countries this style has different names: in Germany it was Jugendstil, in France – Art Nouveau, and in Spain it was Modern. It was spread in many cities of Europe at the end of 19 - the beginning of 20 centuries. It is believed that Jugendstil had the greatest influence on the appearance of 2 European cities – Riga in Northern Europe and Barcelona – in the Southern Europe.
The houses built in this style have extremely rich and sometimes even pompous decor. The key feature of all Jugendstil houses is their asymmetry. Fronts, windows and balconies – all of them were designed with no symmetry to emphasize the forms of natural ornaments. The windows of Jugendstil houses were of all imaginable shapes – oval, round, triangular, and some of them even had the shape of a mushroom.
Gorgeous decor was characteristic not only for front doors, but for the house as a whole. Almost everywhere on Jugendstil houses you can see sculptures and bas-reliefs, sphinxes, mythical animals, plants. Many pieces of decor were performed in the style of ancient art.
You can see Jugendstil houses in all quarters of the old Riga, but most of them are on the Albert street and the adjoining Elizabetes and Strelniku streets. Each house on Albert street has its peculiar features.
It takes about 20-30 minutes to get from the Old Town to Albert street with its Jugendstil houses on foot. So, you`d better take a cab. But if you still decide to go on foot, then after the Bastion Hill city park you will have to go along Brivibas Boulevard. Having got to the Radisson Blu Hotel, you need turn onto Elizabetes street and follow it to Albert street.