Riga Architecture, Latvia

Today Riga is a symphony of spires, steeples and whimsically ornate Art Nouveau buildings – the legacy of an eventful 800 year history that has seen ownership pass from Sweden to Germany to Russia and, two decades ago, to Latvia itself. Yet while Riga’s residents are rightly proud of their architectural heritage, that doesn’t mean they haven’t got one eye on the future. As the city revels in its status as European Capital of Culture for 2014, the striking new library building epitomises a growing confidence and creativity that pervades the capital and its architects.

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