North Eastern Europe at a Glance
Long fought over by Baltic, Teutonic, Scandinavian
and Slavic warlords, North Eastern Europe presents
a rich palette of ancient castles, imperial cities and
stately churches. Cities such as St Petersburg in
Russia and Vilnius in Lithuania once ruled over
extensive multi national empires, while the Latvian
and Estonian capi tals, Rīga and Tallinn, stood at
the heart of north-European trade routes. Today
the region’s cities are among the fastest devel oping
on the European con ti nent, blending thriving urban
culture with stunning landscapes and an extraordinary
wealth of historic architecture.
40 NORTH EASTERN EUROPE
the largest island in
Estonia, offers a
haunt ing mixture of
heath, in add ition
to the majestic wind-
mills that are
Rundāle Palace (see pp84–5), regarded
as Latvia’s most impressive surviv ing
stately home, was designed by Italian
architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli
(1700–71). It features ornate rooms
deco rated in the Rococo style of the
second half of the 18th century.
Parnidis Dune towers over the fishing village
of Nida, on the Curonian Spit (see pp62–3).
Spectacular views from the summit take in
the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon,
and stretch southwards to Kaliningrad.
Panoramic view of Rīga on the bank of the Daugava river, Latvia