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Art Nouveau architecture was popular in Riga during the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century – about 40% of the buildings from this time were built in this style. Several substyles formed during this period. Early elements of the new style were added to Eclectic architecture forming "Eclectic" Art Nouveau. "Decorative" Art Nouveau refers to style using only decorative elements of the Art Nouveau; the first such building was built during 1899, however by 1906 decorative styles had become unfashionable. Therefore the decorative style is not very widespread in Riga.
Originated from a small fishermen village, for centuries Riga has been an important part of the trade chain between Russia and Western Europe. A lively crossroad of cultures and backgrounds for over 800 years, the historical centre of Riga has accumulated an impressive cultural baggage and today is justly included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage list.