Art nouveau (Jugendstil in Germany, Art Noveau in France, modernism in Spain, Sezessionsstil in Austria, Stile Liberty or Stile Floreale in Italy) was born in Europe in the turn of 19th and 20th centuries and continued its victory procession till World War I. Century ago Riga, the same as other European cities, was surprised by art nouveau - architectural and life style inspired by longing for creative freedom and audacious luxury. Learning from nature, enjoying flower compositions, ornaments, bent and swinging lines, admiring antique beauty, dreaming about sphinx, vultures and guarding dogs, art nouveau made Riga more splendid, mysterious and provocative. There are approximately 800 art nouveau buildings in Riga, majority of them in the city centre, especially in Alberta Street and so called Silent Centre or Embassy area, where each building is worth to see.
To preserve old city Vecrīga, Riga wooden buildings and art nouveau architecture for future generations Riga historical centre is included in UNESCO World Heritage sites list 1.