Amalienhof Hostel Riga history

In the second middle of 19th. century Nikolayevskaya street (Krisjana Valdemara street now) was last large street restricting center of Riga (Saint-Petersburg suburb). Further till Daugava river there was only gardens and extensive city pasture.

In 1885 city building authority has approved a project for the construction of household buildings – two-story brick stables and coachman’s cottage on the corner of Nikolayevskaya and Kirpichnaya streets (Kr.Valdemara and E.Melngaila streets now).

In the 1886 building was accomplished as evidenced by the numbers on a weather vane over the tower of stables.
For our rational century it seems a strange idea to build stables with architectural ornaments and even a tower with a weather vane. But 19th century is romantic era and if You look at the title page of architectural project, land owner and project customer was lady, and besides, judging by the name – Baroness. On the title page of project it is called: The State Counselor Ms. Amalia von Reinhold.

Therefore, modern house with reconstruction obtained from the current owner’s name Amalienhof (ie Compound Amalia).

The architect of this household buildings complex was Rudolf Heinrich Tsirkvits (1857 – 1926), while working on a project he was 28 years old.
A year later, in 1887, by the project of Tsirkvits near erect a three-storey brick apartment building.

Later on his projects were built houses in the center of Riga, which are still considered the most beautiful (Vilandes str., №№ 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11,.. Ausekla str., №№ 1, 2, 4, 6; Elizabetes str. number 9, and many others).

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That is title page of project dated 1885! from the archives of Riga construction management. Amazing rationality and pedantry in records management 120 years ago. Years has passed, ages has changed, but all the documents in perfect order.

Architect drew very nice project. Only for some reason, the window on the tower in the project drawn in the form of a cross of St. George, but in reality it's round shaped. Perhaps to avoid confusion stables with the church?
Architect drew very nice project. Only for some reason, the window on the tower in the project drawn in the form of a cross of St. George, but in reality it’s round shaped. Perhaps to avoid confusion stables with the church?

2000

This is how the building looked in 2000. During the years the building has changed a lot of owners. At different times, the four garage doors were punched in its walls, without any projects and engineering calculations. One of the owners of the garages had once been grandmaster Mikhail Tal. By the beginning of the restoration facade of the building was almost completely destroyed.

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This is how second floor looked before. It was eight trucks of garbage removed from the building before restoration.

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It was necessary to find 19th century bricks for facade restoration. They can be purchased in places where old industrial buildings were demolished. The biggest challenge was to find the right size bricks – in those days there was no common standard.

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Facade before restoration.

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Facade after restoration. Color decorative bricks was made by painting a special dye on the original recipe. The challenge was to choose the proper color of the dye.

new wall old bricks

New wall made of old bricks.

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The tower at the time of restoration have been destroyed by time. It was necessary to completely disassemble tower and to use old details as example to make new ones. And, of course, to asseemble again.

roof
To cover the tower rare material was used – natural slate. It was impossible to find same size and shape tiles, so it was mold from material that imitates natural slate.


Original weather vane was picked up and saved by one of the courtyard residents luckily. After restoration in the blacksmith shop weather vane has taken its rightful place.



Building after restoration.
More present-day pictures available in our Gallery.