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2008 | 10 | 45-59

Article title

HISTORY IN CROSS-SECTION: BUILDING IN AUDEJU STREET 10. 14TH-18TH CENTURY (Vesture skersgriezuma. Eka Vecriga, Audeju iela 10. 14.-18. gadsimts)


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The building at 10 Audeju Street in Riga is an example of how much valuable material can be discovered during the study of a single edifice. Research on this building has been carried out over several periods from 1970 to 1990. However, as findings were not exhibited during reconstruction, the building has not received the exceptional place in the overall picture of Riga's architectural history it deserves. The building in Audeju Street was built in 1855, combining two adjacent plots and two constructions that stood separately till the 1840s. So they are described as separate entities, marked as those of plot A and plot B. Both plots existed already in the mid-14th century. Construction on plot A has not survived but the semi-basement of the 'Hans Smelte's Small House' mentioned in documents on plot B is one of the best preserved fragments of Riga's oldest stone buildings. Construction of a stone house on plot A took place in the mid or late 1540s. In 1544 Vyth Dosstede bought an empty building plot, but by 1552 the now deceased Dosstede's house had already been sold. Fragments of Dosstede's stone house have survived. The last third of the 17th century began with several fires, the most damaging of which broke out in 1677. This proved fatal to Dosstede's house and the nearest buildings. During the reconstruction of the building on plot A, the old walls of Dosstede's house were used to their maximum. The interior features painted decorations in almost all the rooms on both floors. A fragment of the wall painting of the stone-carved winding staircase has survived depicting a convolution of acanthus leaves in black, white and grey tones. Rooms with painted plafonds have a restrained wall finish - a dark base with contrasting splashes on the light wall background.


  • Vija Strupule, Architectural Research Group Ltd. (AIG), Arsenala iela 3, Riga LV-1050, Latvia


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Publication order reference


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