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 River Lielupe. Decades ago it was part of the Soviet Union 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 is now a popular tourist attraction with long beaches facing the Gulf of Riga and romantic wooden houses in art nouveau style.