Art Nouveau Beauty in Ukraine and other European Cities

Here at RUUMS.eu, we hope that the Art Nouveau treasures and all forms of artistic expression in Ukraine are preserved and that peace via art, architecture, and design is spread there and everywhere.


As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to devastate the country, many people throughout the world have resorted to finding ways to oppose this unparalleled affront to peace and indiscriminate eradication of all things living, useful, and beautiful by determined warmongers.

Several pages on Facebook dedicate postings to the love of Art Nouveau Design, Architecture, and much more during the last week of February 2022, following the notorious “D-Day” of the invasion, and into March. These entries focused on the splendour of Art Nouveau architecture in Ukraine’s cities, which were now under constant enemy fire.



Hotel Bristol, Odessa, Ukraine Ruums.eu
Hotel Bristol, Odessa, Ukraine


The first thing that caught our eye was a photograph of the Hotel Bristol (Odessa) and the Church of Saint Andrew in Kyiv. A true balm for the eyes, heart, and soul! We can only hope that these treasures will still be standing at the end of the fight, which we hope will be soon.


For those unfamiliar with Art Nouveau, it is a naturalistic style defined by sinuous, sculptural, organic shapes, arches, flowing lines, and sensual decoration. Stylised renditions of foliage, flowers, vines, insects, animals and other natural components are common motifs. Intricate mosaic work, tinted and curved glass, and ornamental wrought iron are some of the other artistic aspects found on the inside and outside of structures. Travellers will have noticed Riga’s magnificent Art Nouveau architecture; indeed, one-third of the architecture in this Latvian city is Art Nouveau, making it Europe’s largest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture.


Riga is world-famous for its incredible Art Nouveau architecture. ruums.eu
Riga is world-famous for its incredible Art Nouveau architecture.

The Art Nouveau interiors of Hôtel Tassel in Brussels, Belgium, designed by Victor Horta

On Albert Street, some of the most eye-catching and decorative specimens constructed by architect Mikhail Eisenstein may be found. However, in the early 1890s, architect and designer Victor Horta created what many believe to be the first Art Nouveau structure, the beautiful Hôtel Tassel in this Belgian city, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Hector Guimard, a famous Art Nouveau architect and designer, completed 50 buildings between 1890 and 1930, but he is most remembered for the curved glass and wrought iron canopies that marked the entrances to Paris Métro. While these landmarks are prized today, much of his work was demolished by the 1960s, as Art Nouveau had unfortunately fallen “out of vogue.” Those that have been retained remain some of the city’s most photographed and admired landmarks, their Art Nouveau curves unmistakably a part of Paris’ design.



Nonetheless, one of the city’s most striking building facades may be seen at 31 rue Campagne-Première in Montparnasse, designed by French architect André-Louis Arfvidson and incorporating sandstone tile work by ceramicist Alexandre Bigot. This 1911 Art Nouveau structure was originally the home and studio of world-renowned painters, including Man Ray, the most prominent contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements.

The Art Nouveau interiors of Hôtel Tassel in Brussels, Belgium, designed by Victor Horta Ruums
The Art Nouveau interiors of Hôtel Tassel in Brussels, Belgium, designed by Victor Horta

Readers of RUUMS.eu who have visited dynamic Barcelona are likely to have noticed the most amazing and beloved structures in this Spanish city, which were designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaud (1852–1926), whose work carried Art Nouveau to extraordinary and surreal heights.


The 1898 Secession Building in Vienna is a classic example of the Secession style, a variation of Art Nouveau Austria; built by architect Joseph Maria Olbrich, it includes Gustav Klimt’s well-known Beethoven Frieze, one of the artists most associated with Art Nouveau. Mucha was recognised as the “King of Art Nouveau” when he first created Sara Bernhardt.

Art Nouveau in Glasgow will take you to the Four. Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), one of the FOUR, contributed to the masterpiece Glasgow School of Art, which was influenced by British Art Nouveau style and blended with a Scottish flair, within a concentration of activity in the Scottish city.

Wrought iron canopies that mark the entrances to the Paris Métro. Ruums.eu
Wrought iron canopies that mark the entrances to the Paris Métro.


Here at RUUMS.eu, we hope that the Art Nouveau treasures and all forms of artistic expression in Ukraine are preserved and that peace via art, architecture, and design is spread there and everywhere.


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