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  • Travel destinations for the art nouveau fan

    Brussels

    Brussels

    At the end of the 19th century, a new art style took over the world. Swirling lines, models inspired by plants and flowers and harmony with the natural environment made Art Nouveau an instant hit, and this elegant art style is not dead yet – modern architecture and art sometimes take a break from sleek and sterile lines and slip into art nouveau inspired images.

    If you like art nouveau, then there are plenty of travel destinations where you can indulge in your love of all things beautiful, and we’re not only talking about museum pieces here. Arm yourself with a camera and visit some of these travel destinations for the art nouveau fan.

    Brussels, Belgium

    Building designed by Vistor Horta in Brussels, photo by Steve Cadman

    Belgium is an art nouveau paradise, and you don’t have to look too hard to find plenty of architectural and artistic gems of this kind. Most cities and towns in Belgium have at least a few art nouveau style buildings to boast of, but the highest concentration can be found in the capital.

    Tassel House on Paul-Emile Janson Street is one of the first art nouveau buildings in Europe, but it’s not open to the public. Visit the Horta Museum, dedicated to famous art nouveau architect Victor Horta, for a more in depth look at his work.

    Paris Metro, France

    Although art nouveau was not as pervasive in France as in Belgium, an art nouveau fan (and anyone else, for that matter) will surely appreciate the intricate entrances to the Paris metro, made of cast iron and glass and designed by Hector Guimard.

    Each metro entrance is different, depending on the station’s importance and size. Although many of these elegant entrances are gone now, you can still see some very fine examples at the Porte Dauphine, Louvre, Abbesses and Cité metro stations.

    Darmstadt, Germany

    Darmstadt, photo by Michael Mertens on Flickr

    In Germany, art nouveau was called Jugendstil, and it was seen as very progressive. The town of Darmstadt, not far from Frankfurt, had a large colony of artists working in art nouveau style, so there is a large cluster of Jugenstil Houses. You can ogle the beautiful buildings and then head to the Mathildenhöhe museum, which was the atelier of art nouveau artists in the past.

    Riga, Latvia

    Latvia did not escape the art nouveau fever, and thanks to an international exhibition at the turn of the 20th century, there was a small explosion of art nouveau buildings in the capital. Much of the city’s center is built in the art nouveau style – in fact, Riga is a magnet for those who like art nouveau thanks to its colorful and pretty buildings.

    Aalesund, Norway

    Aalesund, photo by Matt and Kim Rudge

    In 1904, the small Norwegian town of Aalesund was practically consumed by fire in one night, but in only a few years, it was almost completely rebuilt. Most of the town is built in art nouveau style with some romantic twists. Aalesund has a nice Art Nouveau Center has some very interesting exhibits about the town’s reconstruction.

     

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