Houses in Jāņa (John) Street No.16, 14, 12 and 10


Jāņa Street is one of the oldest streets in Aizpute. In the Middle Ages, it was the beginning of Garā (Long) Street, which ended at the Franciscan Monastery (see Kuldīgas Street). The name Jāņa Street is probably borrowed from the former St. John the Evangelist Church in Aizpute, which was located opposite the beginning of Jāņa Street. The Soviet authorities did not like this name, so in 1950 Jānis was replaced by Pēteris (Peter), surname Stuchka, but in 1990 Jānis regained his name.


Pasta (Post) Street around 1900
Pasta (Post) Street around 1900
Pasta (Post) Street in 2014
Pasta (Post) Street in 2014

The buildings at Jāņa (John) Street № 16 and № 14 can be seen on the postcard - “Post Street around 1900”. Both buildings were directly opposite Post Street: on the left is № 16, on the right - № 14.

№ 16 was built on a relatively new plot of land, which was separated from the Boruchsohn estate in № 2 Kuldīgas Street in 1909. Johanna (Genna) Blumberg, born Boruchsohn, became the owner by gift. On the plot was a one-storey wooden residential house with a mezzanine, built in 1890. There was also 1 retail space in the building, and the 1909 gift agreement encumbered the property with a ban on trading in "spirits". Hermann Blumberg had a colonial goods store here, a small items store after the First World War.

In 1930, property rights were secured by four children of the deceased owner.

In the 1930s, there was a grocery store owned by Jankel Lewin and Mordche Hirschhorn.

№ 14 At the end of the 18th century on Jāņa (John) Street № 14 there was a wooden house belonging to the merchant of the 3rd Guild Jacob Heymann, but in 1811 it was the property of the District Administrator (Landrat) August von Fircks (1756-1830).

In 1827, the property was bought by Itzig Goldinger for 1,500 Silver Rubles, and in 1869 by auction for 1,554 Rubles by the shoemaker Friedrich Scheel. In 1909, it was inherited by the shoemaker's son Ludwig Scheel, who sold the house shown in the postcard to Schei Michelsohn in 1909 for 3,300 Rubles. In 1926, Michelsohn sold this property for 7,400 Lats to Markus Tewelov, who opened a wine shop here, but a year later he received 10,002.67 Lats from Sundel Hirschhorn for this property.

The last private owner of this house was Paula Schapiro, born Hirschhorn, who inherited it in 1936.

In 1879, the shoemaker Scheel's house had Peter Reichenbach's restaurant.

In the years of the First World War there was a leather shop of Hosias Funkelstein, but in the 1930s there was a tea shop and a confectionery shop as well as a bakery by Zāra Jozefoviča.


№ 12 and № 10 Jāņa (John) Street around 1900
№ 12 and № 10 Jāņa (John) Street around 1900
№ 12 and № 10 Jāņa (John) Street in 2014
№ 12 and № 10 Jāņa (John) Street in 2014

The building on the left is known to the old inahabitants of Aizpute as the Papīra (Paper) House.

It is known that already before 1740 there was a house on this plot that belonged to Joschewitz, who sold it to Johann Christoph Thonn (1746-1806) in that year, from which it was inherited by R. V. Thonn at the end of the 18th century.

In 1811, on this plot was the house of Johann Gottlob Hellriegel (also Hoellriegel), the owner of the Dome Pub (7 Atmodas Street), but in 1825 here was the house of the widow of Lieutenant General von Ziliacus, Wilhelmine, born von der Ropp, which in 1827 was bought by Lewin Falkenhoff for 900 Silver Rubles.

In 1825, David Stember's vodka shop was here.

In 1840, the property was auctioned and bought for 701 Silver Rubles by Friedrich Amenda, the clerk of the Aizpute Supreme Court, who in 1841 sold his purchase for 870 Rubles to the Superintendent's lawyer von Kramer.

In 1862, this real estate was purchased by Isaak Falkenhoff, who had a wooden residential house here in 1863 (53 inhabitants lived in 8 rooms), 2 household buildings, 2 manufactories and 2 colonial goods stores.

The property of Isaak Falkenhoff, who died in 1891, was put up for auction, in which no one bought it, and in 1895 the property rights were secured for 600 Rubles to the Aizpute Credit Union, which sold it to the merchant Jānis Papirs on 16 May 1900 for 1,100 Rubles.

At the end of the 19th century, Latvian Jānis Ints' son Papīrs had two pubs in Aizpute and also a wholesale wine warehouse. In 1895, the 46-year-old Papīrs married Elvira Johanna Lucie, an 18-year-old daughter of Volksdorf, the owner of brick kiln of the Aizpute Castle Manor, and they built a beautiful two-storey brick house with a hotel and apartments on 12 Jāņa Street. On June 20 of the same year, the Town Council allowed Papīrs to open the hotel "Baltijas sēta" ("Балтийский двор") (Baltic Yard) on Jāņa Street.

Jānis Papīrs died on August 3, 1905 in Marienbad (Karlovy Vary), and in 1906 the property rights were secured to the widow and son Herbert Johannes Nikolai, born in 1899.

In 1913, a fire broke out in the building and it burned down. On July 20 of the same year, Elvīra Papīra submitted a project for the reconstruction of the building to the Construction Committee of the Courland Provincial Board and asked for its approval. As the Construction Committee had several objections to the submitted project, it was not approved. After reworking, the project was approved on September 13, 1913.

At the beginning of 1914, the reconstruction of the hotel was completed, and on February 7, Elvira Papīra asked the Construction Committee to accept the building so that on March 1, she could open the new hotel "Baltijas sēta" (The Baltic Yard). On March 18, 1914, the architect of the Courland Provincial Construction Committee, A. Godļevskis, drew up an act of acceptance of the building, in which it was noted that a balcony on the brick brackets was built on the 2nd floor instead of the designed veranda.

Elvira Papīra died in 1920 in Aizpute. Her only heir was her son Herbert Papīrs, who in 1933 applied to the Mortgage Bank for a loan to build apartments in a former hotel. The building renovation was done in the summer of 1933. In 1934, Herberts Papīrs provided the following information about his property in Aizpute - on a plot of 4 buildings:

1st built in 1899, rebuilt in 1933, it has 5 apartments (5 kitchens, 18 rooms), 3 trade premises;

2nd two-storey masonry extension, built in 1913, rebuilt in 1933, with 2 apartments (2 kitchens, 6 rooms);

3rd A one-storey brick building with 3 household rooms, built in 1900;

4th A wooden household building with 3 rooms was built in 1927.

The discrepancy between the year of purchase of the property (1900) and the year of construction of the building indicated by Herbert Papīrs (1899), as well as only 35 days between the purchase of land and permission to open a hotel, suggests that only in 1900 the property got registered in the name of the new owner, but that the sale / purchase transaction itself took place sometime between 1895 and 1899.

Some book about Aizpute mentions that this building was built in 1900, and this year of construction can be seen on the facade of the building. Unfortunately, this year is not there. It is not in the very first photograph of the building we know of, nor is it in the plan of the building's façade.

Over time, there was both a hotel with 15 rooms and an inn, a beer wholesale warehouse of union “Livonia” and Aizpute Farmers' Company “Rūķis” (Gnome), which had a shop and a warehouse here. There was a cinema with different names ("Soleil", „Kolozeums”, „Kolizejs”, „Laima"), as well as the Volunteer Firefighters' Club, tavern, teahouse, shops, workshops, as well as the private practice of doctors Dāvids Čakarnis and Eizenija Dankerovica, private practice of dentist Līvija Cera, the Aizpute branch of the Liepāja General Sickness Fund and the apartments.

In 1928, the editorial office and expedition of the local weekly paper Lejaskurzemes Ziņas (News of Lower Courland) was also here for some time.

It is probably worth looking more at one of the most frequently visited places of entertainment in the past - the cinema - for good and bad days in this house.

The opportunity to visit Nathan Feldhun's cinema "Soleil" (French - Sun) in the right wing of the first floor of the once luxurious hotel, which was adapted for cinema performances, was open in 1921 to the inhabitants of Aizpute. “Soleil” was still here in 1924.

The next information found about 1927, when there is already a cinema "Kolosseum" with 150 seats. In 1928, the name of its owner - F. Haase - can also be found. As Haase Ferd. Paul son of Karl, a Latvian born on July 19, 1896 in Aizpute, has been registered in Aizpute since December 8, 1924, it is possible that around this time Feldhun's "Soleil" became the "Kolosseum" of Haase. It usually operated on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, and in exceptional cases also on Monday evenings. In 1931, 5,300 entrance tickets were sold.

The fact that cinema in Aizpute has not been a profitable company is evidenced by this event. On August 3, 1933, an open auction of the movable property belonging to Ferdinand Haas - a cinema apparatus - takes place, on September 15 - a second auction.

However, the “Colosseum” continued to operate. In addition, in 1934, two cinema owners were officially in Aizpute:

1. Alfreds Sermūksis had “Traveling Cinema throughout Latvia”.

2. Ferdinand Haase - "Kolosseum" and traveling cinema "Kometa”.

If Sermūkša cinema did not hold any performance in that year, then the “Kolosseum” with 163 seats was open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, except in June, July and August, when it was closed. There were 1,400 visitors that year. There were 5 performances for children with 900 visitors, 6 cultural film performances with 1200 visitors.

"Kometa" had 2 performances with 140 visitors.

Total gross revenue 7000 Lats.

In 1935, the “Kolosseum” already had 173 seats, the number of visitors was 1,520, and the gross income was 5,300 Lats.

Children's performances - 6, including 4 cultural, 2 scientific films. Number of visitors - 840.

Unfortunately, at the end of 1935, Ferdinand Haase's property was arrested due to debts. On December 13, it was put up to an auction, which did not happen. Back in 1939, Haase owed the Town Council 133.50 Lats for unpaid entertainment tax on cinema performances.

Although the auction did not take place, in 1936 the “Kolosseum” already belonged to Andrejs Jansons. Alfreds Priede was mentioned as the owner in February 1938, but in September it is Andrejs Jansons again.

In the documents of the Town Council of 1939, the name "Kolosseum" has been replaced by the Latvian "Kolizejs".

It should be mentioned that on March 30 and 31, 1936, the mobile sound cinema "Kosmoss" with the Latvian sound film "The Motherland is Calling" and the sound film from Goethe's life "Friderika" visited Aizpute. During the Soviet occupation, the “Kolizejs” ceased its work.

In the summer of 1940, the Red Army solders held open-air cinema screenings in Aizpute Market Square, but the biggest cinema lovers, mainly high school students, whenever money and time allowed, went to Liepāja, where it was still possible to follow the play of their favorite cinema actors.

At the end of 1941, Aizpute Cinema was taken over by the Film Board in Riga, and when its representatives inspected the cinema equipment, it was established that it was no longer usable, which is why a new one is needed. Therefore, in Aizpute, the cinema in its previous premises, but with new equipment and now also with a new, well-sounding name "Laima", resumed operations only in March 1942, three times a week. The cinema was directed by J. Poriņš.

Unfortunately, in the winter of 1942/43, cinema again ceased its work for about two months, resuming on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 18, 1943. Three screenings on weekdays, four on Sundays. The cinema was directed by L. Buivids.

There is no written evidence of the further successes or failures of Laima cinema in the period before the change of occupation regimes in May 1945.

Nowadays - the property of the municipality, where the Aizpute Music School operates.

Behind the Paper House you can see the house at № 10 Jāņa (John) Street, which was once known as Baker's House.

There is no specific information about the year the house was built. Already at the end of the 18th century, there was a brick house on this plot of land, which belonged to the Court Bailiff Johann Peter Kuthsz (1764-1826), from whom it was inherited in 1813 by two daughters of Kuthsz. The elder, Friderike, was married in 1814 to Johann Wilhelm Seelig, the Supreme Court's attorney, and bought a house. In 1850 it was inherited by Seelig's wife's unmarried sister, 65-year-old Dorothea Kuthsz (Friderike had already died in 1848), who sold the house in 1852 for 4,500 Rubles to the merchant Mark Königsfest.

It is believed that the two-storey residential house was built here during the Königsfest, which is indirectly indicated by 8,750 Rubles - the price at which the Königsfest property was bought in 1873 by Baron Karl von der Osten-Sacken. It is known that in 1863 Markus Königsfest had 1 brick and 1 wooden house on this plot, 2 wooden household buildings. There were 2 stores here - manufactured goods and spice store. The 16 rooms of both houses were inhabited by 57 inhabitants.

At the same time, it is not clear why Osten-Sacken sold it (a plot of land with a house, two household buildings and a garden) to Liepāja Councilor Wilhelm Liliental for only 3,050 Rubles in 1876, i.e., only three years after he had paid 8,750 Rubles for this property. Presumably, something bad had happened with this house, because in December 1877, Liliental borrowed 1,500 Rubles from the Aizpute Credit Union to renovate the house. This suggests that this building acquired the appearance shown in the photograph around 1878.

In 1909, Juris and Anete Beķeri bought this plot of land with 3 residential houses from Wilhelm Liliental for 8,000 Rubles. The street house shown in the photo had 9 rooms and 4 kitchens, as well as 4 trade premises.

There was Made Jurkowskis teahouse, A. Ertaks dairy products and K. Baltkalns leather shop there in the 1920s.

Anete Beķere is the owner of the Beķera bakery both in the list of telephone directory of 1924 and in the lists of Latvian trade and industry companies of 1928. At the beginning of the 1920s, Juris Beķeris paid the sign tax at this address only as a gardener.

In 1928, a construction project was approved for the construction of a new residential house in the yard.

In 1933, after the death of Anete Beķere, the property rights of Juris Beķeris and his three children were secured by inheritance. The description of the property of that year shows that the construction of the new back yard house has not been completed yet.

In the early 1930s, the bakery and confectionery were in the hands of Erna Beķere, but from 1935 to 1941 it was the confectionery and bakery of Francis Šulcs.

In the 1930s, there was also Jānis Kalniņš shoe store, Israel Fos, later Jakobs Cerns meat store, Hermīne Kārkliņa bread shop.

Nowadays - unmanaged private property.


The building of end of Jāņa (John) Street around 1910
The building of end of Jāņa (John) Street around 1910
The building of end of Jāņa (John) Street in 2014
The building of end of Jāņa (John) Street in 2014


You can see the already described Papīrs’ House at № 12 Jāņa Street, as well as the house № 14.

The one-storey wooden house at the end of Jāņa (John) Street is in № 3 Kuldīgas Street - the then Aizpute Catholic Church.




Valsts Kultūrkapitāla fonds


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