Once you see it you might get a feeling that it isn’t for the first time. The building that by locals is referred to as Stalin’s birthday cake or Stalin’s tooth is one of the examples of Stalin’s Imperial style or Socialist neoclassicism architecture with other lookalikes around the former Eastern bloc. The most famous are the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw and the Seven Sisters in Moscow.
The Latvian Academy of Sciences was built in 1958 but was completely finished in 1961, becoming the first skyscraper in the Republic. It was built on a former Protestant graveyard, destroying the surrounding church and ensemble of an outstanding Russian classicist wooden building.
Construction was financed by collecting money as “voluntary donation” from proletarian pay checks and rural communities.
Today, the Academy of Science is occupied by many enterprises, science, language and cultural institutions, but for city visitors the main attraction is the rooftop from where you can view the whole city. From over 65m up high, there’s a 360-degrees view from the open rooftop terrace, the best place possible to take photos of the city.
Whenever I feel the need to fulfill 5 minutes of luxury lifestyle, I just grab my backpack, get a bottle of sparkling wine and climb up the tower where I open it dramatically like I just won the F1. Be aware that it is forbidden to consume alcoholic beverages, but if you stay away from the camera, it is totally worth the cinematographic moment.