Riga has several noteworthy suburbs but one stands out — Maskavas Forštate (“Moscow District”).
A huge amount of nineteenth century wooden houses and medieval cobbled streets survive, alongside once grand art nouveau apartment blocks. Many of these homes are derelict and overgrown but many are still lived in, evidenced by numerous satellite dishes.
Hyper modern offices have crept in, as well as some yuppie renovations guarded by private CCTV. Yet an eerie amount of space is simply left undeveloped.
The Academy of Latvian Sciences, a soviet skyscrapper nicknamed “Stalin’s Birthdaycake”, is plonked in the middle, almost watching.