Latvian Academy of Sciences
Even if you are visiting Riga for the first time, it is possible that you have seen this building already somewhere. And in fact, you would not be wrong – this building, constructed in 1961, is very similar to the so-called “seven sisters” in Moscow – seven skyscrapers with which Stalin wished to present the Soviet capital as just as developed as capitalist Western cities, where skyscrapers were begin constructed at the time.
Similar buildings were also constructed in Warsaw, Bucharest and Prague. The building, designed by architects Osvalds Tīlmanis (1900–1980), Vaidelotis Apsītis (1921–2007) and Kārlis Plūksne (1906–1973), was originally meant to become the Kolkhoz Workers’ Building, or a hotel and dormitory for collective farm workers who come to Riga, but after it was constructed it was handed over to the Latvian SSR Academy of Sciences. There is a viewing platform on the 17th floor of the 21-floor building, from where it is possible to enjoy stunning views of Riga.
Due to its architectural style and ideological message, the building has been given many nicknames over the years. The leader of the Communist Party in Latvia Jānis Kalnbērziņš (1893-1986) once even called the building – the Soviet star over the Baltics. However, locals have given it more disdainful nicknames, like, for example, Stalin’s birthday cake, the tooth of Stalin, the Kremlin and so on.