The Embassy of Finland is located at the corner of two streets - Elizabetes iela and Kalpaka bulvaris near the city's centre. The area is well known for its Art Noveau and Jugendstil architecture. Several other Embassies are located in the area.
The main building of the Embassy was constructed in 1873-1874 for a wealthy merchant family in Riga. The architect was Mr Robert Pflug, who also designed the Saeima - the Latvian Parliament building in old Riga.
During its long history the Embassy building has been used for several purposes. The Finnish Government first rented a part of the building for its delegation at the beginning of the 1920s. After Latvia's annexation to the Soviet Union, the Finnish Embassy had to be closed down in August 1940. During the Soviet period the building was used for office and residential purposes.
After the restoration of Latvian independence on 21 August, 1991, Finland was one of the first countries to reopen its Embassy in Latvia. At first the Embassy operated in temporary quarters. After lengthy negotiations Finland was in 1994 able to buy the same building were the Embassy had originally been located prior to World War II. The entire complex was renovated and restored to comply with the original design of the building.
The Embassy was officially opened by the then Finnish Prime Minister Mr. Paavo Lipponen on 2 December 1996. Today the main building comprises Embassy offices, the Ambassador's residence and two apartments. The Embassy also has use of two additions on the courtyard side of the building for residential and housekeeping purposes.