Alberta iela in Riga
Alberta Street, or Alberta iela in Latvian, is home to some of the better known Art Nouveau buildings in Riga. When you visit Riga, chances are that you will want to explore some of the Art Nouveau architecture and Albert Street is surely going to show up in your guide books. Said to be named after Bishop Albert, founder of Riga, this was one of the most prestigious streets of Riga in the early 1900’s. Here you would have seen some of the first private cars, fully electrified houses and a sense of modernity and the new age that came with turn of the century. Today cafes, tourist shops and private houses fill the street. The good news for you is that the original buildings are still standing!
Of course anything 100 years old will start to look a bit run down, but in recent years some of the buildings have undergone a facelift. Many are restored to their original beauty but some, notably number 11 Alberta iela, is in what some people would say a state of disrepair. This building, with its worn facade and evidence of life, is an excellent example of National Romantic architecture and is a good contrast to the more polished examples across the road.
Many buildings by the architect Mikhail Eizenstein can be found along Albert Street and this gives the street some sense of continuity. You will also find that there is an Art Nouveau Museum at the bottom of the street, situated in a house designed and lived in by the architect Konstantīns Pēkšēns. The museum is situated on Albert Street 12 but the entrance is from Strelniku street, opposite the Art Nouveau souvenir shop.