Art Nouveau architecture in Europe

Posted by Laura Želvytė  |  August 02, 2016

Art Nouveau came in Europe with a bang around the turn of the 20th century. The style was embraced by architects, painters, jewellers and designers. One of the most spectacular things to see when you visit Europe is the extravagant Art Nouveau style in the major European cities.

What is Art Nouveau?

Art Nouveau has a lot of names – Secessionsstil In Austria, Secese in the Czech Republic, Jugendstil in Germany.Full of expressive masks, floral designs, vivid colours, weaving garlands, flowing lines and clean geometric forms still decorate a big part of buildings and facades in a lot of major European cities. It is a „total“ art style, embracing everything from architecture to jewellery and fine arts. The Art Nouveau style was quickly replaced by the Modernist styles, but it is now considered as a critical historical transition between the 19th-century styles and Modernism.

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Art Nouveau in Riga

Riga claimed its fame with the help of this extravagant style. The capital of Latvia has over 700 Art Nouveau buildings, which is more than any other city in Europe. Over a third of the buildings in Riga are examples of this spectacular architecture style. You might wonder : why there are so many Art Nouveau examples in Riga? The answer is surprisingly simple – when this style was in bloom, Riga happened to be a very wealthy city. So a lot of money was invested in making Riga look as stylish, fashionable and beautiful as possible! All of the old buildings were renovated to represent the beautiful Art Nouveau style which gave the capital of Riga a very unique setting. All of Riga tours cover the subject of Art Nouveau, so don‘t worry – it‘s impossible to miss the beautiful architectural creations when you visit Riga!

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Riga Art Nouveau Museum

A vital part of Riga tourism is the Art Nouveau Museum. It was opened in the early 2009 and is located in the apartment, where a spectacular Latvian architect Konstantīns Pēkšēns lived. The building itself is very notable for its substantial dimensions and an extravagant silhouette. The authentic interior has been renovated, and the museum displays an exhibition showing how an apartment in the 20th centuries Riga looked like. Lima Markova is the beautiful person behind this project. So when you visit Riga, not only you get a chance to feast your eyes at the beautiful authentic Art Nouveau architecture in the capital‘s streets, but to see what a classic Art Nouveau apartment used to look like in the 20th century.

Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe

If you’re interested in seeing more of this excellent architecture style, there are cities you just have to visit! Paris, Budapest, Glasgow, Brussels, Darmstadt and many more European cities can offer you great tours that will allow you to feast your eyes on many Art Nouveau creations.