Culture Minute 3: Architecture & Crafts
Here are new elements that will allow us to better apprehend Latvia and Estonia environments!
Tallinn is a city strongly influenced by its medieval past. In the old town, there are churches, fortifications and old buildings. But it is not all because different styles come together, such as the baroque (Kadriorg Palace), contemporary architecture (Kumu Museum of Fine Arts), the old fishermen’s houses of Kalamajas, the art nouveau (National Opera of Estonia) as well as functionalist architecture and Soviet architecture (Sõprus Cinema).
Each year, Tallinn organises medieval days, consisting of a large market on the Town Hall Place. Inhabitants dress up and parade through the streets of the old town with musicians, jugglers… a total medieval immersion!
Handicraft in Estonia stands out for its woodworking, especially the juniper tree, wool sweaters and jewelry creations with amber and silver. These are a bit different from the productions of the other Baltic countries where work is also being done with these materials. If you want an opportunity to discover them better: go to the Saint-Martin Fair in November!
Regarding Riga, it is a city with different facets that also awaits us. If in the center one finds buildings of Roman and Gothic style, there is also the Art Nouveau that highlighs the colors and the rounded forms. The center of Riga has even been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997!
Finally, crafts bring together a great variety of production, from ceramic work to the production of scenes from everyday life in reduced format to tablecloths and linen table sets. Every year in June, there is a Latvian crafts market which we may have the chance to discover.