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Review >>> Silent centre
Silent Centre (Klusais Centrs) is one of the most beautiful parts of Riga - in terms of the real sense of the word "beautiful". This area is the richest, most prestigious, most renovated part of Riga centre, which holds many of the most unique & outstanding Riga's Art Nouveau architecture examples.
Silent Centre started to develop at the end of 19th/beginning of 20th Century. In 1900, in the previous place of city's gardening, Riga started to build a new street network, starting with Alberta street (however, many of buildings on area around Vīlandes street were built a few years earlier already). Silent Centre quickly became a place where most talented architects (to name Mikhail Eisenstein as the most famous one) freely expressed themselves and competed with one another in the most modish architecture style of that time - Youth Style (Jugendstil, as Germans call it), Freedom style (Italian's name) or Art Nouveau, as we know it today. The place became a place of residence for the "cream of society" and this public was varied - from artists and writers to businessmans, jurists and doctors.
Nowadays Silent Centre is the home for many embassies and luxurious appartments. It has been recognized by Riga's inhabitants as the most respectable place to live in Riga centre - 43 % of rigans gave such answer in the sociological survey a few years ago. Most popular parts of this centre part are famous Alberta street (which still hasn't got the proper amount of tourists, if comparing to those crowds who are enjoying Old Town) and posh Elizabetes street's northern part. Vīlandes, Ausekļa and some other streets are very interesting too. However, Silent Centre is not absolutely homogenous - one can find also neglected and/or simplier buildings here.
Is Silent centre really "silent"? Well, Pulkveža Brieža and Elizabetes streets, of course - not, because they are lively traffic arteries, Antonijas street is always quite fulfilled with people, but Ausekļa, Vīlandes, Rūpniecības, Alberta, Strēlnieku and other streets - yes, city noises and hullabaloo really disappears there and you find yourself on rather empty streets in a relaxed, quiet atmosphere, surrounded by splendid architecture masterpieces. Although "splendid", "beautiful" or "magnificent" are not the right words - it's impossible to express verbally the soul-touching feelings which comes from the experience of Riga's Art Nouveau architecture.
Some urbanity fans may dislike that "Silent centre" feels "dead", but that fits in the place perfectly and it's exactly what Riga centre needs - an island of peace in the sea of noise, thick and haste. It has some cons though - Silent centre as an ideal place of residence could have a bit more public infrastructure - especially shops. However, there are some cafes, and at least one of them (on Elizabetes street northern part) not so expensive as one could imagine for such a posh district. There are also libraries, health centre (on Mednieku street) and even church (baptist church on Vīlandes street). Of course, the very centre with all it's shops, culture institutions and entertainment establishments and all other public infrastructure isn't miles away - just about 1 km walk to the south and you're already in the heart of metropolis life.
As regards to safety, most of Silent centre could be the safest area in Riga. Ausekļa, Vīlandes, Rūpniecības, Strēlnieku, Alberta, Antonijas streets should be perfectly safe both in day and night time. I haven't seen any type of dangerous or "weird people" there, this is not the place where they use to walk around. However, less-prestigious Silent centre parts, outer sides - Eksporta or Dzirnavu streets - could be a bit less safe, but still, far from the places to be afraid of.
In overall, Silent centre really is one of the most desirable places to live in
Riga, especially if one find suitable to live in a perimetrical 5-6 floor
building quarters in mostly arranged, renovated environment with a glamour of
ornate Art Nouveau architecture and strong touch of elitarism flavour.
SILENT CENTRE PHOTO GALLERY
of Living Index
Silent Centre photos by objects in
alphabetical order (click on record to
see the picture)