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From the World Heritage website - Riga was a major center of the Hanseatic League and prospered from its trade with central and eastern Europe in the 13th-15th centuries. The urban fabric of its medieval center reflects this prosperity, although most of its earlier buildings have been destroyed by fire and war. In the 19th century it became a very important economic center, and the suburbs of the medieval town were built, first in imposing wooden buildings in classical style and then in Jugendstil. It is generally recognized that Riga contains the finest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in Europe.  -- more from the World Heritage website --

 

 

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