Liepāja Art Nouveau architecture stands proudly among the best examples of the style in Europe. The city has not only Art Nouveau residential houses, but also Art Nouveau Theatre, schools, former cinema houses, office buildings, villas etc. Several houses have very well preserved interiors, authentic staircase ornaments and paintings. Enjoy the 5km long route!
1. TIRGOŅU IELA 22. RESIDENTIAL BUILDING WITH SHOPS (1911-1912)
Perpendicular Art Nouveau, decorative elements with a transition to Art Deco.
2. KURŠU IELA 5/9. BUTCHER’S MARKET (1910)
Now Peter’s Market Pavilion. Architect – L.Melville, engineer – G. von Malm. Building’s volume is determined by the light metal construction typical to Art Nouveau, abundant natural lighting through the attic, facade division typical to Eclecticism with a lining system and decorative elements retained in an Art Nouveau manner. Renovation has maintained the original trade row layout.
3. KURŠU IELA 17. PAUL (PAVEL) MAMONOV’S RENTAL HOUSE (project of 1910)
Perpendicular Art Nouveau. Architects: Max Theodor Bertschy and Guido Bertschy.
4. KURŠU IELA 21. A. MILULES’S RENTAL HOUSE (project c. 1910)
Perpendicular Art Nouveau. House designed after A. Milules’s commission by M.T.Bertschy and G.Bertschy. The staircase interior decoration and stairs themselves in this house are considered a part of national art heritage. The walls and ceiling are entirely covered with ornamental decorations: marbling, stencil and freehand painting, figurative and plot painting. The overall impression is supplemented by handrails and apartment doors, so it is not enough to simply half-open the street door – one should go through the entire staircase bottom-up.
5. ROŽU IELA 8/10. SEMYON KLEPENIN’S RENTAL HOUSE
Perpendicular Art Nouveau. Originally the Liepāja City Jewish secondary school, nowadays – Liepaja Jānis Čakste secondary school’s No. 10 primary school. The building’s shape and the whole plot arrangement, however, suggest a rental house. Typical to Liepāja red brick and plaster combination in external decoration in this case highlights the verticality and characteristic decorative motifs of the composition.
6. PELDU IELA 33. K.SAULE-SLEINIS’S RENTAL HOUSE (1911)
Perpendicular Art Nouveau. Architect – Pauls Kampe, one of the most well-known Latvian historians of art and architecture. P.Kampe’s working presence in Liepāja is the prime evidence that architects from Rīga had also worked here during the Art Nouveau period.
Kampe had been inspired by the best examples of different European Art Nouveau schools. Maybe that is why the house is so simple and elegant and at the same time so exquisitely detailed. Unfortunately, during the Soviet era large apartments were converted into smaller ones, but the building’s external appearance has remained the same.
7. TOMA IELA 43. L.FREIBERGS’S DWELLING HOUSE (c. 1910)
Perpendicular Art Nouveau. Original iron gates.
8. TOMA IELA 49. DWELLING HOUSE
Perpendicular Art Nouveau. The building’s corner balcony is gone.
9. ŪLIHA IELA 66. RENTAL HOUSE
Perpendicular Art Nouveau.
10. ŪLIHA IELA 68. RENTAL HOUSE (1912)
Perpendicular Art Nouveau.
11. DZINTARU IELA 23. SWEDISH CONSUL K.EKBLOM’S MANSION (project of 1913)
During the Soviet period it was the House of Pioneers, later becoming an office building, nowadays being a mansion again. Architect – Lars Sonck, engineer – Charles Carr. It is the only building in Latvia ever designed by the world-famous Finnish architect L. Sonck.
12. DZINTARU IELA 16. WOODEN DWELLING HOUSE
National Romanticism. The makers of the facade’s decorative components were apparently inspired by Viking ornaments. This is one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau wooden houses in Latvia. The building’s original layout is clearly visible, many elements of its interior and setup have been preserved – ladders, doors, floors, including tiles, windows with mechanisms, ceiling plafonds, wall and ceiling painting fragments and other.
13. DZINTARU IELA 9. DWELLING HOUSE
Perpendicular Art Nouveau. In contrast to Liepāja’s typical street and courtyard layout with mutual distances, here the courtyard house is locked directly to the street house. The street house’s north-eastern corner plan’s configuration and the roof’s large overhang clearly indicate a lost porch.
14. REPUBLIKAS IELA 28. DWELLING HOUSE (C. 1910)
National Romanticism. The building’s main staircase is well-preserved along with its rich ornamental decorations.
15. REPUBLIKAS IELA 19. H. DĀRTS’S RENTAL HOUSE
Perpendicular Art Nouveau. Originally, the building’s facade was closed off with a wide cornice, the small tower’s shape was also a bit more detailed. Regardless of the details, this house in the laconism of their volume reveal and confirm the beginnings of modern architecture in the style of Art Nouveau – the inhabitants of Liepāja did not meekly stagger behind changes, but have confidently accepted and adapted them to their city’s urban environment.
16. AVOTU IELA 11. RENTAL HOUSE
Now a multifunctional building. Perpendicular Art Nouveau.
17. AVOTU IELA 4. RENTAL HOUSE
Now a multifunctional building. Perpendicular Art Nouveau. The building’s exterior doors, balcony banisters and staircases’ ornamental decorations are considered a part of national art heritage. One can climb to the top and see that ceiling painting so typical to Liepāja!
18. GRAUDU IELA 45. MULTIFUNCTIONAL BUILDING (1913)
Perpendicular Art Nouveau. Engineer – C.Carr. During a modern reconstruction all floors have been significantly re-planned, the former courtyard is almost completely filled by an outbuilding, a glazed roof gable was attached to the building’s middle section, gambrel corner’s part was glazed and retail space on the first floor was renovated. Also, without changing the building’s main entrance portal’s shape on the street facade, new doors were retracted till the location of the former inner doors within the shelter belt, thus complementing this niche’s wall plafonds with modern paintings.
19. GRAUDU IELA 46. OSCAR THAL’S FASHION HOUSE
During the Soviet era this was a children’s store, nowadays – a furniture store “Raita”. Eclectically decorative Art Nouveau. The interior was significantly modified during the Soviet era. Despite multiple reconstructions, the original appearance of the street view has been preserved.
20. GRAUDU IELA 44. DWELLING HOUSE WITH SHOPS (1908–1909)
The large building on the street corner is one of the most heavily decorated Art Nouveau buildings in Liepāja – there are plant and animal motifs on the entrance portal and pediments, balcony railings and column lintel decorations made in the National Romanticism style. External division as a whole is markedly vertical, thus creating a broad palette of Art Nouveau techniques. The building’s apartment layout has been preserved. Same goes for the staircases, doors, furnaces and fireplaces. Unfortunately, during the reconstruction works in the first floor’s rooms, the last surviving in Liepāja two-story shop interior built at the beginning of the 20th century was lost.
21. GRAUDU IELA 36/38. KARL FISCHER’S RENTAL HOUSE (1913)
Perpendicular Art Nouveau. Architects: M.T.Bertschy and G.Bertschy. Premises on the first floor were both initially and during the Soviet era operating as a cinema, though at the beginning it was called “Victoria”, while in Soviet times was translated into “Uzvara”.
22. GRAUDU IELA 34. C.KAGAN’S RENTAL HOUSE
Perpendicular Art Nouveau.
23. GRAUDU IELA 28. DWELLING HOUSE (c. 1910)
Perpendicular Art Nouveau.
24. AUSEKĻA IELA 9. GIRLS’ GYMNASIUM (1912)
Nowadays – Liepāja State Gymnasium No. 1. Architect – L.Melville. Since the construction of the building, its purpose has never changed, therefore, not only a functionally very well-thought and still convenient in use floor plan has been preserved, but also the interiors of hallways and stairwells, the assembly hall and other rooms.
25. KŪRMĀJAS PROSPEKTS 2/6. RUSSIAN-EAST ASIAN SHIPPING COMPANY’S OFFICE (1908-1911)
Nowadays Kurzeme District Court. An eclectic volume with Art Nouveau decorative elements, windows and doors. Wooden entrance shelter-belts, wooden staircase and the first floor’s wardrobe layout were preserved.
26. GRAUDU IELA 27/29. KARL STEPHEN’S HOUSE, “PALASS” CINEMA AND A MULTIFUNCTIONAL BUILDING (1912-1913)
During the Soviet era the “Sarkanā bāka” cinema and the Executive Committee of the Liepāja district were located here, while nowadays – shops and offices. Perpendicular Art Nouveau. The building occupies an entire city block on Graudu iela. It is built in a modest style, has slender construction forms, explicit vertical accentuation, rounded corners, bay windows and balconies with decorative wrought iron railings. Though modest, it is still splendid, having decorations embedded in its plastering – elements of various geometric shapes, beautiful friezes. Currently the building is open to the public during business hours. On the interior the staircase (with a modern elevator), original housing planning structure, numerous doors and other decoration and interior features and an interesting courtyard have remained.
27. DĪĶA IELA 11. DWELLING HOUSE
Nowadays an office building. Perpendicular Art Nouveau.
28. PASTA IELA 11. DWELLING HOUSE WITH A PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
Perpendicular Art Nouveau. Bay windows crown a small terrace with a distinctive railing, consistent with Art Nouveau wooden entrance doors, which during a modern reconstruction were directed towards a deep niche. The house was built by a photographer Juris Bokums, who is the author of a majority of the early 20th century’s photo cards depicting Liepāja. In 1919 the Latvian Provisional government was photographed in this house, when Liepāja for a time became Latvia’s de facto capital.
29. PASTA IELA 1. RENTAL HOUSE WITH SHOPS (c. 1910)
Perpendicular Art Nouveau.
30. LIELĀ IELA 4. M. GORODIN’S RENTAL HOUSE WITH SHOPS (1909)
Nowadays a multifunctional building. National Romanticism.
31. LIELĀ IELA 5. STORE BUILDING WITH A RESTAURANT (1906)
Nowadays casinos. Architect – L.Melville. Facade is an eclectic building with decorative facade features typical to Art Nouveau.
32. TEĀTRA IELA 2. CITY THEATRE
Transition from Art Nouveau to Neoclassicism. Construction Project authors: W.Lossow and M.H.Kuehne, construction was started in 1912. All the major interiors have survived with only slight alterations.
33. BAZNĪCAS IELA 18. SEMYON KLEPENIN’S RENTAL HOUSE (1913)
Nowadays a dwelling house. Perpendicular Art Nouveau. In its time it was the most innovative object in Liepāja – a six-storey “skyscraper”, fully non-combustible, with all the amenities, including central gas and water heating.
34. BĀRIŅU IELA 21A. DWELLING HOUSE WITH SHOPS
Eclectically decorative Art Nouveau style. Exquisitely built street facade hides the fact that the house is actually built of wood.
35. A.PUMPURA IELA 7. RENTAL HOUSE WITH SHOPS
Nowadays shops and offices. Eclectic facade division detailed in decorative Art Nouveau style.