Latvian Academy of Sciences

Riga, Latvia

The Academy of Sciences edifice was built after World War II, between 1951 and 1961, collecting the necessary financing from the newly established kolkhozes in Latvia and - as further expenses increased, collecting the finances as 'voluntary donations' deducted from the salaries of the Latvian rural population.

The building is decorated with several hammers and sickles as well as Latvian folk ornaments and motifs. The spire originally was decorated with a wreath and a five pointed star, which was removed after Latvia regained independence in 1991. Being 108 metres tall, it was the first skyscraper in the republic and was the tallest building until the construction of the Swedbank Headquarters in Latvia.

The building, designed by Osvalds Tīlmanis, Vaidelotis Apsītis, and Kārlis Plūksne, is a cousin to similar Stalin-era skyscrapers, which were representative of what became known as Stalinist architecture (sometimes referred to as Socialist Classicism). The architecture of the skyscraper resembles many others built in the Soviet Union at the time, most notably the main building of Moscow State University. Local nicknames for this building include Stalin's birthday cake and the Kremlin.

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Address

Elijas iela 2-6, Riga, Latvia
See all sites in Riga

Details

Founded: 1951-1961
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Latvia
Historical period: Soviet Era (Latvia)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Eija Risen (2 years ago)
For anyone interested in USSR culture, the most representative style of socrealist tower. Reminiscent of buildings like the University of Moscow and Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw.
Paul Vm King (2 years ago)
It's a bit of a walk from the old town area but very close to Jewish district and little moscow area,worth a visit to see the less tourist part of Riga.
Martin Saraz (2 years ago)
Good weather is definitely a key here, but if visibility is decent, it's absolutely amazing and certainty worth a visit. Structure itself is from the peak of a commie era, but for some reason I loved it. Reminds me of some buildings decades older in the US. 5€ admission is a fair price.
Benedikt T (2 years ago)
Kind of worth a visit, but for 5€ it's overpriced in my opinion. The view is good and you can see basically the whole city. The deck itself is spacious and you can stay how long you want to. However, there is no protection against the elements and historical or other information is scarce.
Tim Michael Vesper (2 years ago)
One of the coolest viewing platforms I've ever been to! 5€ is a decent price and the place is not really crowded. In fact we've been alone on the majority of the 30 minutes we spend up there. Informative signs in German, Latvian, Russian and English are appreciated too!
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The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

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The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.