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Unique collection at Riga Art Nouveau Centre
Visitor, who has not seen the Silent centre of our capital with art nouveau buildings, has not been in Riga at all...
Of course, this is a sort of a little exaggeration, but just a little. Riga is one of the richest heirs in art nouveau buildings in the world. Although the historical heritage has not always been fully renovated and put in order, there are many art nouveau buildings in the capital. More than 800!
Most frequently mentioned buildings visited by tourists to feast eyes at the posh facades created at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries include the first art nouveau tenement house (built in 1899) located at 7, Audēju Street, the magnificent buildings at 10a and 10b, Elizabetes Street (designed by Mihails Eizenšteins, son of the famous film art pioneer Sergejs Eizenšteins, who was born in Riga), building at 8, Smilšu Street, 13, Merķeļa Street etc.
The highest concentration of art nouveau buildings can be observed in the so-called Silent centre, where the museum “Rīgas Jūgendstila centrs” (“Riga Art Nouveau Centre”), located at 12, Alberta Street, has been warmly welcoming guests for the last 8 years.
The museum has been arranged in a building built in 1903 and designed by two outstanding Latvian art nouveau architects – Konstantīns Pēkšēns and Eižens Laube. The flat designed for his own use and occupied by Konstantīns Pēkšēns, author of the design, was turned into Riga Art Nouveau Museum in 2009.
During the recent years, museum’s stock has grown from the volume of several items to a unique art nouveau collection consisting of 6400 exhibits. Interior of the museum includes authentic furniture, dishes, works of art, clocks, clothing, needle-works and other items once belonged to the residents of Riga at the beginning of the 20th century.
The rich collection tells a convincing story about the life of wealthy residents of Riga and allows us to have a look not only into their living room and dining room, but also into bedroom and kitchen, where pies are baking in a wood-fired oven, and even into toilet facilities.
“Rīgas jūgendstila centrs” has been repeatedly acknowledged at international level. During the recent years, the museum has been visited by over 180 thousand interested persons both from Latvia and foreign countries.
Upon the beginning of the 9th year of work, the museum has prepared a reel about designer and the first owner of the flat Konstantīns Pēkšēns, available for watching upon booking in advance.
P. S. Before entering into the museum, the winding staircase of the building is worth to be paid closer attention to. The staircase is extremely magnificent and elegant.