It's a lovely quiet city and I particularly like the winding river and long narrow park that borders the central distict. Various architectural styles remain consistent in distinct zones, so you get a strong sense of each historical period, with very few trashy commercial intrusions. Art nouveau/Jugenstil buildings are the big drawcard, but don't expect the curvaceous linear style of the Paris Metro entrances. The northern equivalent looks entirely different, more conventional, pastel coloured buildings with their exterior encrusted with symmetrically ornamental sculpture, often with a dreamy female face as the centrepoint. As well as reconstructed medieval architecture you can see the classic Stalinist soviet style Academy of Science and the bleak, widowless Museum of the Occupation. Cheer yourself a little by visiting the city market in four vast aircraft hangars on the south eastern edge of downtown. Continue a short distance into the inner suburbs and you find centuries-old traditional wooden houses in a rural setting.
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