Panorama Riga Observation Deck (Latvian Academy of Sciences)

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The 107-meter tall building is considered the first high-rise in Latvia. It has been a prominent fixture of the Riga cityscape since the 1950s.

There are a total of 766 rooms on the 23 floors, occupied by scientists, researchers, historians, and various companies. 

It was in May 2018, when I first visited the observation deck located in Latvian Academy of Sciences building) and I was really impressed. So impressed that I would call this place actually the Empire State Building of Riga. Instead of paying USD 65 and waiting a couple of hours in the line (like in the NYC) here we paid EUR 5 entry ticket and without any line were taken up to the observation deck. Awesome. 

The Empire State Building & Observation Deck Tour

Latvian Academy of Sciences building

Latvian Academy of Sciences building

Couldn't fit in a landscape mode, and don't love portraiture. lol

The Academy of Sciences is one of the most notable examples of the so-called Socialist Realism in Latvia. The building was originally meant to become the Kolkhoz Workers’ Building or a hotel and dormitory for collective farm workers who come to Riga – but it was never used for the purpose. Riga residents used to call the buildings “Stalin’s birthday cake”, “Stalin’s baroque”, “Stalin’s tooth”, “Kremlin” and suchlike.

During the tourism season, it costs a few euros to go up to the 17th floor of the building and take in the panorama of the city from the height of 65 metres – the rooftops and church steeples of the Old Town, the bustling life of the Central Market, the unhurried flow of the Daugava River, and the wooden architecture of Maskavas suburb.

The ground floor of the Latvian Academy of Sciences houses concert hall “Rīga”, a venue for popular music concerts and performances for audiences of all kinds. The historic interior design of the concert hall, built in 1955, has just been completely renovated. Seating capacity is 700.

Panorama of Riga

Panorama of Riga

From here you'll see the greatest masterpiece of the 21st century in Latvia – the National Library of Latvia, shaped like the Castle of Light, symbolizing the desire for knowledge so inherent to the Latvian nation. The library building was built in 2014, it was designed by the internationally acclaimed Latvian-born architect Gunnar Birkerts (USA). From the "Panorama Riga" observation deck a wonderful sight meets your eyes to the promenade of the river Daugava with five bridges linking the banks of the Daugava River, known as the “river of fate”, Old Riga and the Central Market, which is one of the oldest in Europe. The need for the Central Market was debated even before World War I - in 1910, and it has historic evidence, for example, the historical market pavilions, where active trading is still taking place. They were built for the needs of World War I, as German army aircraft - Zeppelin - hangars.

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