2004 | 4 | 57-72
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In the 1770s Baroque and Rococo styles were replaced by Neoclassicism in Riga architecture. The first public building that embodied the new stylistic ideas was the Town Hall (1750-1765, arch. Johann Friedrich von Ettinger). In the 2nd half of the 18th century Old Riga started to change more rapidly. In 1785 Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church was erected, a new volume was added to the Riga Castle, creating a new facade (1783, arch. Johann Peter Bock), and a new square - the public centre of the town - was laid out in front of the castle. Adjacent buildings were supplemented with the Imperial Lyceum at Castle Square 2 (1785-1787, arch. Matthias Schons). In the Latvian architecture Neoclassicism has spilt in two trends. The first trend was influenced by the German and Russian Neoclassicism while the second was the so-called Civic Neoclassicism that had grown out of the local cultural-historical and social conditions. The main representative of the Civic Neoclassicism was Christoph Haberland (1750-1803). He designed dwelling houses at Miesnieku Street I (1779), Pils Street 6 (1795), Maza Pils Street 1 and 3, Teatra Street 6 (1785), Zirgu Street 28, merchant Morrison's house at Smilsu Street 5 (1787-1794), Johann Samuel Hollander's house at Skunu Street 17 (1787) and others. An important event in Riga was the library reconstruction at the Eastern wing of the Dome Cloister ( 1778-1787, arch. Christoph Haberland) that resulted in a spacious two-floored hall. Johann Hermann von Vietinghoff in his turn created the Musse House at Riharda Vagnera Street (I 78 I 1782, arch. Christoph Haberland). It was a kind of club for aristocracy where the first Riga theatre was housed. The development of Neoclassicist architecture in Riga influenced also sacred buildings, like St. Gertrud's Lutheran Church (1779-1781), St. Peter and St. Paul's Orthodox Church in the Citadel (1781-1785, arch. Sigismund Seege von Laurenberg) and Katlakalns Lutheran Church (1791-1792, arch. Christoph Haberland). As towns of the Russian Empire developed, there was a need to create a stylistically and compositionally unified environment. For this reason albums of exemplary facades were published in 1809 and 1812. They were used in Riga up to 1850.
  • Janis Zilgalvis, State Inspection for Heritage Protection, Maza Pils iela 19, Riga LV-1050, Latvia
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