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Latvian Academy of Sciences
The 107-metre building that is the Latvian Academy of Sciences, is considered the first high-rise in Latvia. It has been prominent fixture of the Riga cityscape since the 1950s. There are a total of 766 rooms on the 23 floors, occupied by scientists, researchers, historians, and various companies.
The Academy of Sciences is one of the most notable examples of the so-called Socialist Realism in Latvia. The building was originally meant to become the Kolkhoz Workers’ Building, or a hotel and dormitory for collective farm workers who come to Riga – but it was never used for the purpose. Riga residents used to call the buildings “Stalin’s birthday cake”, “Stalin’s baroque”, “Stalin’s tooth”, “Kremlin” and suchlike.
During the tourism season, it costs a few euros to go up to the 17th floor of the building and take in the panorama of the city from the height of 65 metres – the rooftops and church steeples of the Old Town, the bustling life of the Central Market, the unhurried flow of the Daugava River, and the wooden architecture of Maskavas suburb.
The ground floor of the Latvian Academy of Sciences houses concert hall “Rīga”, a venue for popular music concerts and performances for audiences of all kinds. The historic interior design of the concert hall, built in 1955, has just been completely renovated. Seating capacity is 700.