30. Pils Square
In the 18th century around Riga Castle, which was at that time performing the function of a residence for the Russian governor general, a new Castle Square started to be built. It had to symbolise the mightiness of the Russian Empire. At first civil wooden constructions were destroyed between the city and the castle and around the vacant square several municipal buildings were built. One of them was “Our Lady of Sorrows“ Church (on Pils iela 5) – a stone building created in 1784 – 1785 in the place of a little older wooden chapel built in 1761. The new church was a building of modern classicism style. The former building differed from the present “Our Lady of Sorrows“Church (it acquired its appearance about 1859 by a designed rebuilding of the architect Johan Daniel Felsko (1813 - 1902)) by the fact that the building’s loft (with a tower above it!) was turned to Pils Square. Since that time the altar's ridge is located in the south-western part of the church, but the entrance of the building, which was carried from the side to the north-eastern part, is positioned under the tower (after rebuilding, it acquired typical forms of historic style).
Between the church and the castle (on Pils iela 5) in the second half of the 18th century a pastorate building was “pressed in” with mansard roof. Neighbouring private houses, mainly the property of the rich Riga merchants, were built according to designs of the popular architect Cristoph Haberland. The most splendid of them are Fegesack House on Anglikāņu iela 5 (presently this building is used as the National Library of Latvia), Trompovski House on Pils iela 6 (1790), as well as buildings on Mazā Pils iela 1 and 3 (1788). A powerful classicism impact can be sensed in composition and architectonic details of these buildings.
In Pils Square 4 the former St. Petersburg hotel is located (1783 - 1787). In 1852 this building in a classical style was rebuilt by extending the middle part of a gable.
Almost at the same time as the St. Petersburg hotel, namely in 1785 – 1787, the Imperial Lyceum building (in Pils Square 2), designed by a building craftsman Matias Shon, was built. In 1851 while carrying out a plan of architect Robert Pflug, the building was heightened by one (the third) floor, as well as acquiring a modern facade of historic style. After 1804 the lyceum was reorganised into a province gymnasium.