The Wonderful Facades of Riga

Riga is a beautiful city, full of beautiful buildings. Also outside the old town you can find buildings with amazing facades. Especially in the Art Nouveau district. One of the more famous one is located on Elizabetes street, and is the signature blue and white architecture of Eisenstein. Especially impressive are the faces at the top.

One of the Eisenstein buildings

Eisenstein building at Elizabetes iela

Not far from there is Alberta street, which features some wonderful Art Nouveau buildings. I like the window shapes in this one, and am sometimes dreaming of living in the appartment behind these windows. Not that I know what it looks like from the inside, but it should be great.

Wonderful window shapes in Alberta iela

Wonderful window shapes in Alberta iela

Unfortunately, not all buildings are well kept. The details of this one, on Vilandes, are amazing, but I’m not sure for how long they can still be seen. The building has been empty and in desperate need of repair as long as we’ve been in Riga, and recently part of it has been burnt down. So the building is badly damaged, maybe even beyond repair.

Beautiful Facade, but damaged beyond repair in Vilandes iela

Beautiful Facade, but damaged beyond repair in Vilandes iela

It’s not only the facades that have been designed with a keen eye for detail. In some buildings, the staircases have some nice details as well, like this stained glass window. The building is not public, but it’s also in the Art Nouveau district.

Stained glass in stairwell

Stained glass in stairwell

But, the buildings with beautiful facades are not limited to the Art Nouveau district. Scattered around the city you’ll find some great examples. The details of these balconies, on a building in the higher numbers of Elizabetes, across the street form Vermanes Garden are stunning, albeit not all in great shape. Imagine looking up to the balcony above you, and seeing dragons fly.

Dragons holding up balconies on Elizabetes iela

Dragons holding up balconies on Elizabetes iela

I’d like to finish with one of my favorites. A friend mentioned it to me, and I think it’s great. It’s a bit outside the center, but just look at the theme of the facade decorations and let your imagination run wild.

Watch out for flying...

Watch out for flying...

Hurray! I ran a half marathon this week.

Okay, to be clear from the start: I did not run half a marathon in one session. It took me three runs. A 6.5K run on Monday, 7K on Wednesday and a bit over 8K today (Saturday). But, getting more than 20K in a week is a bit of an achievement for me. It helps me in my challenge to run a half marathon in one session in April next year.

Three runs, 22K in a week

Three runs for a total of 22K this week

Still (and sorry about that Frank), I’m not sure I will go to the Netherlands to do so, but the goal is set for the distance anyway. In any case, I’m going to run the half marathon distance during the Riga marathon in May, trying to raise some money for the RMHC Latvia charity in the mean time.

As for the running, this has been a good week. Good distances, good pace and a good mentality. I managed to get myself past the most difficult kilometers – for me somewhere between 2 and 5. That’s where I feel slow and struggling. And where I tended to give up not that long ago. This week I managed to push myself past that, and today I had even a bit left at the end. I was checking my distance because I thought I was close to the 8K mark I set as a goal for this run, and then noticed I had already passed it. Having a bit of a not so good feeling in one of my knees (the supposed good one, not the one I had surgery on last year), I decided it was enough for this week. Of course, I now aim to get at least another 22K done in the coming week.