There is hardly a extra satisfying element of vacation than strolling a new locale, like a present day-day flâneur. The experience is specifically sweet when you see a little something unexpectedly breathtaking, as I did some several years ago in Riga, Latvia. I realized about its Art Nouveau district, yet when I arrived on Albert Road, lined with pastel-hued structures festooned with faces, figures, peacocks, bouquets and other Art Nouveau motifs, I was stopped in my tracks by their attractiveness.

Paris, Brussels and Barcelona are well known for their tasteful, undulating Art Nouveau architectural treasures, but this fashion, which thrived from about 1890 to 1910, is notable all through Europe, in significant cities and small towns alike. Quite a few can be explored online—starting with Riga, which claims to have the major concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in the planet.

The Riga Artwork Nouveau Museum is notably unforgettable. At the time the household of architect Konstantīns Pēkšēns, it has a sleek façade adorned with plant and animal styles. The interior, which include its spiral staircase—a pleasant match of swirling and geometric styles on the banister and the partitions alongside the way—has been restored, place by room, to its glory times in the early 20th century, viewable in a photo gallery on the web site. Record tells us why that was necessary: These gorgeous rooms were requisitioned for communal housing all through the Soviet profession, each individual just one assigned to a different family members.

To see other Art Nouveau edifices, you may possibly start out with a 55-moment documentary on YouTube called “Art Nouveau With no Borders.” Partly funded by the European Union, this online video focuses on metropolitan areas in the Danube River basin, generating stops from Vienna to Oradea, Romania. Properly-narrated, the movie briefly relates how Art Nouveau, which celebrates all-natural kinds, originated in response and opposition to the stilted educational fashion of the 19th century. It also tells viewers the monikers used for the type in distinct nations around the world, this kind of as Jugendstil in Germany, Secession in Austria and Arte Joven in Spain provides the names of primary architects and showcases very remarkable structures, pausing at occasions for interviews with art historians.

The video visits properly-acknowledged illustrations of Art Nouveau, notably in Vienna. There is the white-dice Secession constructing, topped by a brilliant gold dome of laurel leaves, and the stunning Church of St. Leopold, whose white and gold interior is topped by a mosaic depicting the ascension of souls into heaven.