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Riga, Latvia

Riga Central Market

3,000 market stands in five former Zeppelin hangars  

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At the turn of the 20th century, Zeppelins were seen as the transportation of the future. During that time, five giant hangars were created to house the German-made airships in the center of Riga, Latvia. When Zeppelins fell out of use, a move to convert the hangars was proposed, and the hangars were turned into Europe’s largest market bazaar.

Built in stunning Neoclassical and Art Deco style, the market spans an area of 778,000 square feet and houses 3,000 trade stands. Farmers and craftsman set up hundreds of tables there hawking their wares, only slowed by the Nazi and Soviet occupations that came during the next 60 years.

During the Nazi occupation, the market was almost completely shut down to house troops and supplies for the army. However, the market was re-invigorated under the Soviets, who took credit for the Riga Central Market, claiming it was a stunning example of a successful market in the Soviet Union.

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