Latvian Academy of Science

Historic Building in Rīga

Rising above the Moscow suburb, this Stalinesque tower is in fact a not-so-welcome present from the Russian capital, which has seven towers like it, only bigger. Construction of what is often dubbed 'Stalin's birthday cake' commenced in 1951 but wasn't completed until 1961, by which time Stalin had run out of birthdays. Those with an eagle eye will spot hammers and sickles hidden in the convoluted facade. The wonderful viewing terrace at floor 17 is Rīga's best vantage point.