Category Archives: Latvia

Latvian polyhedral lights

Polyhedrical lights in RigaPhotography by Carlos Dorce

I found these polyhedral lights while I was walking around the old town of Riga. Each light has a hexahedron and a square pyramid on it. Once again Mathematics are used for beauty purposes!

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

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The House of the Blackheads

House of the Blackheads (Riga)Photography by Carlos Dorce

House of the Blackheads (Riga)
Photography by Carlos Dorce

The House of the Blackheads (Melngalvju nams) is located in the heart of the old town of Riga. It’s a building erected in the first half of the 14th century for the Brotherhood of Blackheads who was an association of local unmarried ship owners and merchants founded in the 14th century. The house is one of the most folkloric buildings in the city because of its ornamentation built during the XVIth, XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries.  In the Second World War, the house was destroyed by the German bombs (1941) and the current picture was built in the period 1995-1999.

House of the Blackheads in 1891
Source: Wikimedia Commons

I’ve been in Riga twice and I’ve always admired this beautiful house! And the astronomical clock on its front!

Astronomical clockPhotography by Carlos Dorce

Astronomical clock
Photography by Carlos Dorce

The clock has three circles. The upper one indicates whether it is day or night and the the lower one points to the day of the week. The main clock is a calendar (days and months) and a analogical clock (hours and minutes). I want to return to Prague to enjoy its great astronomical clock but I think that this one can be just as interesting as the Czeck one!

Location: The House of the Blackheads (map)

The Latvian Academy of Sciences

The Latvian Academy of SciencePhotography by Carlos Dorce

The Latvian Academy of Science
Photography by Carlos Dorce

We can see this great building from a lot of streets and squares of Riga. This old building is one of the Soviet symbols which we can see in the Latvian capital. It was built in the 1950’s and his architect Lev Rudnev used the Stalinist design to its construction.

The resolution on the construction of the building was decided by the Central Comittee of the Latvian Communist Party and the Cabinet of Ministers on 17 February 1951.  The construction was the beginning of a development plan that would transform its neighborhood near the Central Market of the city. From that decision, the Moscow government guaranteed the financing of the construction as a gift to the Baltic states. In 1958, the Academy of Sciences LSSR took possession of the building to fund the final phase of construction. Today, on the 6th floor there is the Institute of Mathematics and Latvians know this architectural aberration and propaganda as the “cake of  Stalin”.

If you want to visit it, you will talke a fast lift to the 15th floor and toy’ll be able to admire a beautiful panoramic view of Riga.

Location: LSSR in Riga (map)

A Latvian Möbius strip

Möbius strip (Riga)
Photography by Carlos Dorce

When you go to Riga from the airport by car, you go through Kārļa Ulmaņa gatve and at the beginning of Lielirbes iela you can see these three Möbius strips. The Möbius strip was discovered independently by Johann Benedict Listingand  (1808–1882) and August Ferdinand Möbius (1790-1868) in 1858 and it’s a very curious non-orientable surface. It’s a good welcome sculpture to the city!