A Walk Along the Jugendstil Quarter: Mikhail Eisenstein—the Gaudi of Riga.

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Art Deco Architecture Style. Albert Street, 4, Riga, Latvia.

Art Deco Architecture Style. Albert Street, 4, Riga, Latvia.

Do you know why the small capital of Latvia is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List? It is not because of the medieval center of old Riga with its bright and impressive House of Blackheads, and not even because of the Dome with one of Europe’s best organs, and certainly not because of the famous Riga Black Balsam. The capital of Latvia has a trump card, which not every tourist knows about.

It so happened that at the end of the 19th century, almost the whole of Europe watched the birth of a new architectural style—it would be called Modern. In France it is known as Art Nouveau, in Germany as Jugendstil, in Italy as Liberty, and in the USA as Tiffany.

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Koh Samui, Thailand. Not the Maldives, but Still Paradise!

Or what to do on Koh Samui.

New Star Beach Resort. Koh Samui. Thailand.

New Star Beach Resort. Koh Samui. Thailand.

Actually, I would gladly have spent two weeks in Europe, but Irina said that after the long winter, every girl needs some bright sun, the sea, and at least a hundred massages in the bargain. So, we flew to Koh Samui, Thailand.

We have not been there in seven years, and now we come out of the plane that landed in a familiar airport in the middle of the Gulf of Siam in the Pacific Ocean. Well, well. Over these years, walls have not been built here—there are trunks of coconut trees instead—and the airport roof is still made from banana leaves. Koh Samui Airport is very unusual.

The runway has not been extended either, and the airport of Koh Samui does not take big airplanes. To get to the Thai paradise from Europe, you need nearly 20 hours with a transfer in Bangkok. It is far and hard. However, can a paradise be easily accessible?

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Unique Abandoned Russian Сhurch in Yaropolec

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Russian Kazan Theotokos Church. Chernyshov estate, Yaropolec, Russia.

Russian Kazan Theotokos Church. Chernyshov’s estate, Yaropolec, Russia.

Russia. Yaropolec. Spring. The manor of Chernyshev. The church of the family of Admiral Chernyshev, one of the favorites of the Empress Catherine the Great. This stunningly beautiful church is the only one in Russia having two domes.

The condition of the building is terrible. No wonder, because it is guarded by the state as an architectural monument. Nevertheless, the church makes an indelible impression. The entrance is shut—as if it is under reconstruction—but sure enough there is a hole. We penetrate it. It is calm and noble inside despite the breakdown. The aura is awesome.

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