Riga Art Nouveau

Riga is one of the most interesting cities in Europe when it comes to Art Nouveau. There are more examples of the style here than in most other cities, and different categories of Art Nouveau can be distinguished here as well. These varieties are traditionally divided into four: the Eclectic, the National Romantic, the Perpendicular, and the Neoclassical Art Nouveau

The Art Nouveau of Riga is more faunal than its European counterparts. Common decorative elements include women’s faces, depictions of mythological figures, and the sun motif. The most famous buildings are those designed by Mikhail Eisenstein on Albert and Elizabeth Streets. Other important architects include Konstantīns PēkšēnsEižens Laube, and Aleksandrs Vanags.

My portfolio contains the most important Art Nouveau buildings in the city centre of Riga. In my research, I relied heavily on the website of the Riga Art Nouveau Museum. The photos are from September 2012, June 2015, May 2017, February 2019, June 2020, November 2022, and March 2023. 

You will find the locations of all the mentioned buildings on the map below:


1. Audēju iela 7

Alfred Aschenkampf & Max Scherwinsky, 1899

This is one of the very first Art Nouveau buildings in Riga. It has rich floral ornaments on the façade, including an apple tree.

audeju 7


2. Vīlandes iela 11

Rudolf Heinrich Zirkwitz, 1899-1900

This apartment building was designed to be eclectic but some Art Nouveau elements were included in its façade during the construction work, such as the keyhole-shaped entrance door with sculptures. As of March 2023 it is still being restored. 



3. Elizabetes iela 33

Mikhail Eisenstein, 1901

This heavily decorated building is the first one in which Eisenstein made use of the elements of Art Nouveau.


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4. Alberta iela 1

Heinrich Scheel & Friedrich Scheffel, 1901

This was one of the first Art Nouveau buildings on Alberta iela. The side façade on Antonijas iela shows some volumes and has a little garden with an Art Nouveau railing. 

alberta 1 (2)

alberta 1


5. Alberta iela 9

Konstantīns Pēkšēns, 1901

A more classical entrance door in an otherwise very Art Nouveau street



6. Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela 23

Heinrich Scheel & Friedrich Scheffel, 1901

This eclectic Art Nouveau building boasts with many beautiful details, such as the entrance door.



7. Smilšu iela 8

Heinrich Scheel & Friedrich Scheffel, 1902

This attractive eclectic Art Nouveau building is located in the Old Town of Riga.



8. Šķūņu iela 10/12

Heinrich Scheel & Friedrich Scheffel, 1902

This is one of the few Art Nouveau buildings in Riga where the floral ornaments are not dominated by humans, animals, and supernatural beings. It has a soothing effect.

skunu 10:12

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9. Ģertrūdes iela 10/12

Heinrich Scheel & Friedrich Scheffel, 1902

This building at the corner of the oval square where St. Gertrude Old Church is located has outstanding grimacing masks on the lower part of its façade.


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10. Smilšu iela 2

Konstantīns Pēkšēns, 1902

On the façade of this famous building by Pēkšēns, every window is decorated differently. The bay window is supported by two sculptures and a tree column. A peacock can also be seen on it.

smilsu 2



11. Kalēju iela 23

Paul Mandelstamm, 1903

This is the most colourful Art Nouveau building in the Old Town of Riga. The sun motif, displayed in the centre of the bay window, appears on many Art Nouveau façades in the city.

kaleju 23

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12. Jauniela iela 25/27

Wilhelm Ludwig Bockslaff, 1903

A part of this building has full-façade rustication, which makes me think of the Finnish National Romantic architecture. The monumental woman’s head, however, makes this façade quintessentially Rigan.


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13. Vīlandes iela 2 / Rūpniecības iela 1

Rudolf Heinrich Zirkwitz, 1903

This early Art Nouveau building has two façades: one overlooking Vīlandes iela and the other opening to Rūpniecības iela. Influences of Vienna Secession are visible on the both façades.

vilandes 2

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14. Alberta iela 8

Mikhail Eisenstein, 1903

The buildings on Alberta iela 8, on Elizabetes iela 10b, and on Strēlnieku iela 41 form a subgroup in the œuvre of Eisenstein because of the heavy repetition of dark blue and white.

alberta 8

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15. Elizabetes iela 10a

Mikhail Eisenstein, 1903

This building was designed as eclectic by Konstantīns Pēkšēns, but once the work began, it was Eisenstein who decorated the façade with Art Nouveau elements, such as the kidney-shaped window of the upper floor.

Before the restoration (2015)


After the restoration (2022)

elizabetes 10a


16. Elizabetes iela 10b

Mikhail Eisenstein, 1903

This is a typical example of the early Art Nouveau architecture in Riga: the volumes and the structure of the building are eclectic and the façade is still rhythmic, only the ornamentation is new. Two other apartment buildings in the area designed by Eisenstein use the same blue glazed bricks.

elizabetes 10b


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17. Antonijas iela 8

Konstantīns Pēkšēns, 1903

Dragons are another common motif on the Art Nouveau buildings in Riga.

antonijas 8