Jūrmala meaning "seaside" or "beach" in Latvian, is a city in Latvia, not far from Riga. Jūrmala is a resort town stretching 32 kilometres and sandwiched between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River.Decades ago it was part of the Soviet Union [note: not by their choice] and every summer was swarmed by high-level Communist Party officials, it was a favourite destination of Brezhnev and Khrushchev. There remain grand beachhouses and concrete hotel spa complexes, many fallen into disrepair. Jūrmala remains a tourist attraction with long beaches facing the Gulf of Riga and romantic wooden houses in art nouveau style. - Wikipedia
I had read somewhere that many Officers from the Soviet Navy retired there and even today ethnic Russians outnumber ethnic Latvians. Apparently some still behave like Russians as I saw one family try to walk away from an expensive restaurant without paying. The poor waitress had to chase after them. the father then pulled a large wad of cash from his pocket to pay. It might have been an honest mistake but it sure did not look like it. (Nobody in the group looked surprised and no apologies were made.)
The next one is a Soviet-era building. I think the photo I took is of the back of this hideous building here.
While some buildings were in disrepair, most appeared to have been renovated since Latvia regained its independence. We were told that you would be lucky to get any of these houses for under $1 million US. Of course, it was not money that got you one of these houses during Communist Times.