Following an extensive and costly three-year long reconstruction, the Latvian National Museum of Art reopened to the public in May 2016. A popular tourist attraction, the museum is housed in one of the most impressive Historicism-style buildings in Riga. Designed by Baltic German architect Wilhelm Neumann, the edifice was completed in 1905. It was the first structure in the Baltic States to be built especially for a museum.
The refurbished building's first visitors quickly generated a surprising and unexpected trend. More than 19,000 people visited the museum during the first few days that followed its reopening. Many of them posted photos of a round window on the top floor. There are, in fact, three such windows in the building's former attic space, tastefully enclosed in gleaming white wooden boards. Two of these windows, however, are unfortunately covered in black to protect the artworks on display from the rays of the sun.
Latvian National Museum of Art and the window
In any case, during the first century of the Latvian National Museum of Art its existence, these window and the entire top floor wee of limits to the public. Now, for the first time, ordinary mortals can enjoy a stupendous city view from the lone obscured window, with the Latvian Academy of Art, the Nativity of Christ Cathedral, the National Library of Latvia and other Riga landmarks presenting a picture-perfect panorama. Many visitors were so impressed that they spontaneously presented the museum with a new symbol of its rebirth: an Instagram profile named @thefirstwindowoflatvia, in honor to the museum's new "Instagram window".
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