Dzintari and Edingburg

Before the 1917 revolution, German names were used on the Riga seaside.

Lielupe: Bullen (German: Bullen)
Melluzhi: Karlsbad (German: Karlsbad)
Bulduri: Bilderlingshof.
Asari: Assern
Dzintari: Edinburg.
Kauguri: Kaugern.
Majori: Majorenhof.
Sloka: Schlock.
Dubbulty: Dubbeln.
Kemery: Kemmern.
Riga Seaside (or Strand, as it was called by locals) (German: Rigascher Strand / Rigaer Strand or Strand).
Lielupe River: Aa or Kurland Aa (Russian people called it Mukha) (German: Aa or Kurlandische Aa / Kurische Aa).

How Edinburgh appeared on the Riga seaside

On January 23, 1874 in St. Petersburg took place the marriage of Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna, daughter of the Russian Tsar Alexander II, with Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, son of Queen Victoria of England. The enterprising landlords of the new settlement being built on the Riga seashore decided to name it Edinburgh in honor of this event. Having learned about the noble step of his subjects, the Emperor, who was touched, allocated 100 thousand rubles to Edinburgh for its improvement. This money was used to build a park, which still adorns the village today.


Russian Emperor Alexander II


Russian Emperor Alexander II


Maria Alexandrovna Romanova Prince Adjfred Duke of Edinburgh


This area was called Avoty from the XVII century after the name of a fishing farm located on the bank of the Aa River (now the Lielupe River). In 1874 the new settlement under construction (the first summer house appeared here in 1873) was named Edinburgh in honor of the marriage of the daughter of Tsar Alexander II with the Duke of Edinburgh.


Fragment of a plan of sea baths on the shore of the Gulf of Riga (1879)

FORMER NAMES OF DZINTARI. EDINBURGH (1874-1907); Edinburgh I-II (1907-1922)

The date of birth of Edinburgh is 1874. In 1907, due to the opening of a new railroad stop in the settlement, it was divided into two parts: Edinburgh I and Edinburgh II. The boundary between them was along Station Street (now Piestatnes Street). In 1922, the authorities of the new Republic of Latvia gave it the Latvian name Dzintari (Latvian: Dzintari, translated as "Yantari").

5_Plan_of_Marienburg_and_Edinburgh_I_and_II.Published_by_Society_of_Homeowners_of_Riga_Seaside%28Riga Schnakenburg%29.%281900s.%29

Plan of Mariengoff and Edinburgh I and II. Publication of the Society of Householders of the Riga Seaside (Riga : Schnakenburg). (190- г.)

Dzintari. Avoty (1929-1941) + Dzintari (1922-1941); Edinburg (1941-1944); Dzintari (1944-present)

In 1920s the administration of the new Latvian state within the framework of the company of replacing German and Russian names of localities, settlements, streets, etc. with Latvian ones, renamed Edinburgh I settlement into Avoty (1929), and Edinburgh II - into Dzintari (1922). However, it should be said that the new names did not take root in the Republic of Latvia very well. Both in everyday life, and in the local press, and in transportation schedules, and even on the new maps for many years continued to use the familiar old names. On the map of 1932 Dzintari village is still listed as Edinburgh I-II. During the German occupation (1941-1944) it was returned to its old German name - Edinburg. After Latvia was liberated from Nazi occupation, the settlement was again called Dzintari.

6_New_City_Plan Guide_of_Riga_Seaside._Published_by_CONSONANCE,Riga%281932%29

New plan-guidebook of the Riga seaside. KONSONANS, Riga (1932).

Edinburgh development. Edinburgh Avenue and Military Street

Edinburgh's border with Marienhof was along Boundary Street (now Turaidas Street) and with Bilderlingshof along Marine Street (now Kr. Baron Street). Development in Edinburgh began in 1871, when the area was divided into regular plan plots of land. It was envisaged to create two main streets in the settlement: Edinburgh Avenue and Military Street, between which there was a forest park, as well as 13 transverse streets, which were named simply - lines. The first entry in the land records was made in 1873. The 1615 meters long plots on Edinburgh Avenue (now Dzintaru Avenue) were purchased only by very wealthy people, representatives of the highest aristocracy, important officials and manufacturers who valued comfort, peace and quiet and wanted to get away from the noisy Mayorengof and Bilderlingshof with their busy stores and crowds of summer cottagers. The cottages, next to which beautiful gardens were laid out, were intended solely for the recreation of the owners and their households. It was these people who turned Edinburgh into the most aristocratic, luxurious and quiet village on the Riga Seaside.


Edinburgh Avenue (now Dzintaru Avenue)
Military Street (now Edinburgas Avenue)


The first land parcels on Edinburgh Avenue and their life tenants

As for Military Street (now Edinburgas Avenue), everything was different. There were smaller plots of land, simpler landlords, and their wallets were not so tightly stuffed. In the summer season most of the landlords on this street rented out rooms and sometimes the whole dacha. Renting out rooms was their little commercial business, which provided a good income. It must be said that Edinburgh had the highest rents on the Riga seafront. The development on Military Street began at the very end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century.

Leonid Andreev on Edinburgh


Leonid Andreev

Edinburgh is an aristocratic place, quiet, chaste; a little dull and sleepy; the cottages are all their own, the women are all thoroughbred and handsome, and the men are all polite. They ride in the first class and it is obligatory to ride in the "For non-smokers" section.

Leonid Andreev ("Travel Impressions. - Riga. - Baltic Sea", 1901).

In 1901 the Russian writer L. Andreev (1871-1919) lived in Karlsbad on the Riga seashore for the whole of July and the beginning of August.


Beach at Edinburgh II (190s).

Edinburgh Attractions

It is hard to imagine Edinburgh without the famous barrow with the sea pavilion, the city park, the Orthodox Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, the Lutheran Church, the Maksimovich Sanatorium, boarding houses and luxurious villas of aristocrats.


"Riga Calendar for 1898."


Edinburgh Barrow (190s).


Edinburgh Marine Pavilion (190s).


The Edinburgh Bargain House, designed for recreation and entertainment, was built in May 1897 at the beginning of Boundary Street (now Turaidas Street). Here is what a guidebook of the early twentieth century wrote about it: "There is a hotel and a restaurant here. Balls-masquerades are organized, Russian operettas are given. Electric lighting, a magnificent park - with foreign orchestras, on the open stage - variety show, in the center of the park - theater ...". Edinburgh is a paradise for gamblers. Here in 1910 established a "Casino Society". And despite the ban played preference, which was very popular in high society. As a contemporary noted, there were a lot of tables, played for large sums.

In 1936, the Dzintarsky Concert Hall was built on the site of the old barrow, and the famous covered stage appeared in 1960. 


Edinburgh. The Mound (early twentieth century)


Edinburgh. Casino and barrow (191-).

Marine Pavilion

The Sea Pavilion with its restaurant and sea-facing terrace was built in 1909. The terrace offered a unique view of the beach, which was especially lively and dressed up in the evenings. It was located in the dunes, at the beginning of Granica Street (today's Turaidas Street), behind the kurhaus, and was considered to be the most beautiful Art Nouveau building on the Riga Seaside. In 1935 the pavilion burned down. According to an eyewitness to the fire, people crowded around the pavilion wept as they watched this magnificent wooden building perish in the flames.


The Marine Pavilion in Edinburgh (191-)


Edinburgh's true adornment has always been its forest park with centuries-old pine trees - the real "lungs" of the settlement. The beginning of the breakdown of the famous park was laid by the Russian Tsar Alexander II, who allocated 100 thousand rubles to Edinburgh for improvement. For many years only a strict old forester watched over the order in the park. However, the rapid development of the village and the increasing number of summer cottagers in the early 20th century forced the Edinburgh Bathing Society, established by local landlords in 1907, to allocate money for the maintenance of a special team of workers for the constant care of the park. According to contemporaries, Edinburgh Park was kept in perfect condition before the revolution. Today, the park in Dzintari (Lazdonas Street) with playgrounds for children, roller skating and walking paths, a skatepark, a streetball court and a 33.5 m high observation tower has become a real family park.


Edinburgh Park (1914)

Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God

The wooden church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God on Granīčnāja Street (now Turaidas Street) in Edinburgh was erected in 1896 by the Riga Orthodox Peter and Paul Brotherhood with voluntary donations from summer residents. About 8 thousand rubles was donated by priest John Kronstadsky. The benefactors were Princess Drutskaya-Sokolinskaya, Count Orlov-Davydov, St. Petersburg merchants A. Gruzdev, A. Pavlov. Gruzdev, A. Pavlov and many others. Maria Nikolaevna Mansurova, the mother of the founding sisters of the Riga Nunnery, financed the construction of the iconostasis and the purchase of church bells. The author of the project was the famous Riga architect Kizelbaš, who did not charge a penny for his work. The church was consecrated by Archbishop Arsenijs of Riga and Mitava. It was a beautiful church, wooden, very elegant, slender, decorated with fine carvings and gilded heads. In 1962, the church, which survived the revolution of 1917 and the two world wars, was destroyed by order of the local authorities within a day - bulldozed off the face of the earth. In 2019, a new church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God was built in its place (11 Turaidrs Street).


Edinburgh. Orthodox Church (190s).


Western facade of the temple

Lutheran Church

The Lutheran church was built in 1888-1889 on Morskaya Street (now Kr. Baron Street) according to the project of German architect Hermann Gilbig (1860-1939) with voluntary donations from dacha residents. The land for the construction of the church was personally allocated by the Russian Emperor Alexander III. The kirkha was built of rough dark brick and was named "Waldkapelle" - "Forest Chapel". An organ was installed inside. In 1894 it was enlarged - a tower was added and wrought iron doors with a commemorative plaque thanking Emperor Alexander III were made. The kirkha operated until 1944. From 1955 to 1993 the Latvian Film, Photo and Phonodocuments Archive was located in the church building. Divine services have been resumed since 1994. The building is an architectural monument and is located on the territory of the former Edinburgh Park.


Lutheran Church (191-).

M.M. Maksimovich Sanatorium and Water Treatment Center

The water treatment center of the famous Riga doctor Mikhail Maksimovich (1867-1923) was opened in 1906, and the sanatorium - in 1908. "The Riga Herald in 1908 described the Maksimovicha sanatorium in this way: "The beautiful stylish building, standing on the Edinburgh dunes, involuntarily attracts the attention of the public strolling along the seashore. According to competent people, the hospital is equipped according to the latest science. It consists of a bath department, a hydrotherapeutic hall with a Roman bath and a room for medical gymnastics and massage. Baths are released the most diverse: from sea water, sulfur, mud, with the addition of alkali, iron, extracts. The most famous patient of the sanatorium was one of the most prominent poets of the Silver Age Valery Brusov (1873-1924), who came here for treatment in December 1913 after the tragic death of a young poetess Nadezhda Lvova, shot herself with a gun and died in the arms of the poet. The building of the sanatorium has survived to this day (3/5 Smiltenez St., lit. 1).


Maksimovich Sanatorium and Water Spa (190s).

Pension M. Kiewicz

The guesthouse (an obsolete name for a small private hotel with full maintenance of guests) of Maria Kevic was opened in 1872. on Edinburgh Avenue (now Dzintaru Avenue) No. 39. In the summer of 1896, Russian painter Vasily Surikov (1848-1916) spent three weeks here. From February 17 to March 21, 1905, the "petrel of the revolution", writer Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) and his common-law wife M.F. Andreeva, an actress of the Moscow Art Theatre, lived in the boarding house. February 20, 1905 Gorky wrote to K.P. Pyatnitsky: "Here - good. Pines, sea, silence. Amazing courtesy and attention of the hostess of the boarding house - she met us as relatives, immediately wrote me out all the Petersburg and Riga newspapers and said that if the police appear - she will throw them out .... Here they charge us for our rooms, - 3 - coffee in the morning, breakfast at 12 o'clock of three courses, tea at 3, lunch of three courses at 6 o'clock and milk at 9 o'clock - 2 rubles a day per person! We walk a lot". The building of the boarding house has been preserved (Dzintaru Avenue 39 k-1).


Edinburgh. Kewich Boarding House (190-).


Maxim Gorky and Maria Andreeva (1905)

Kristaps Morberg's summer house

Latvian Kristaps Morberg (1844-1928) was what is now commonly referred to as a "self-made man". Coming from a poor family of fishermen, Morberg began taking private lessons from teachers at the Polytechnic Institute, and then even enrolled at the University of Construction in Berlin. Returning to Riga, Morberg participated in the construction of many buildings and thanks to his talent quickly became rich. The industrialist was not only an architect, but also a man of various hobbies - he loved horses and collected rare plants. One of the crowns of his construction career was a dacha complex, which he independently designed for himself and his wife Augusta.

It included a dwelling house stylized as a German castle (built in 1883), a greenhouse, a stable, a carriage house and a botanical garden with exotic plants. By the way, Morberg's dacha neighbor was a Riga Russian merchant Ignatius Shutov, who owned six barns on the Daugava River in Riga and shipped grain from Russia abroad.

Shutov was the actual owner of all shares of the Russian newspaper Riga Vestnik and chairman of the Russian Club in Riga. Boris, the grandson of merchant Shutov, was attracted to the neighboring castle because it had a stable, as the owners liked to ride horses on the beach or in the neighborhood. Morberg bequeathed all his property to the University of Latvia. The summer house has been preserved (Dzintaru Avenue 52/54). 


Edinburgh. Morberg Villa (early twentieth century)

Edinburgh. Janis Baumanis

The first professional Latvian architect Jānis Baumanis (1834-1891) was one of the first to acquire a plot of land in Edinburgh and in 1877 built his luxurious villa on Edinburgh Avenue (today's Dzintaru Avenue). For many years the architect spent summers here with family, relatives and friends. For convenience, Ya. Baumanis was one of the first to install bathing bridges in the sea and laid a path from his summer house to the railway station. In 1883 there was a fire and the house burned down.


Architect Janis Baumanis


Bathing bridges on the Riga seaside (190s).

How Edinburgh Avenue became Ermolov Avenue.

In 1899, at the initiative of the chief police officer of the Riga Seaside, Mirbach, Edinburgh Avenue was renamed Ermolov Avenue, in honor of the famous Russian general Alexei Petrovich Ermolov (1777-1861), a participant in many major wars fought by the Russian Empire. The German Baron Mirbach, who became chief police officer of Vzmorye in 1897, was a man of Russian culture. In June 1899, he also renamed Yomenskaya Street (now Yomas Street) into Pushkinskaya Street to immortalize the memory of the great poet. True, the new name lasted only three days. But Ermolovsky Avenue "lived" until the First World War.

Plan_of_Marienburg_and_Edinburgh_I_and_II.Published_by_Society_of_Riga_Seaside_Homeowners%28Riga Schnakenburg%29%28190s%29

Plan of Mariengoff and Edinburgh I and II. Publication of the Society of Householders of the Riga Seaside (Riga : Schnakenburg). (190- г.)

10_Portrait_of_AP_Ermolov_artist_P_Zakharov Chechenets_circa_1843

Portrait of A.P. Yermolov (artist P. Zakharov-Chechenets) (ca. 1843)

Military Street (now Edinburgas Avenue) - Three Station Street

Russian Empire (1907 - 1917): Bilderlingshof station + Edinburgh I + Edinburgh II


Edinburgh II


Bilderlingshof (190s).


Edinburgh I

ul. Kara (now Edinburgas Avenue) - Three Station Street

1st Republic of Latvia: Bilderlingshof (since 1919 - Bulduri) + Edinburgh I (since 1929 - Avoty) + Edinburgh II (since 1929 - Dzintari).


Edinburgh I / Avots


Bilderlingshof / Bulduri


Edinburgh II / Dzintari

ul. Kara / Y. Gagarin Avenue (now Edinburgas Avenue) - Three Station Street

Latvian SSR: Bulduri + Avoty (until 1963) + Dzintari







Edinburghs Avenue. Railway stations

Bilderlingshof Station / Bulduri. Yesterday and today

Edinburgas Avenue is currently home to two railroad stations.

Bulduri. Bilderlingshof station was opened in 1877. The original wooden station building, burned down in 1944, was replaced in 1947 by the current stone building (architect Ozoliņš).


Dzintari. Edinburgh station was opened in 1877. In 1964, after the Dzintari stop was shifted to the Avota platform, a combined stop was created. A new building with a spacious waiting room and ticket office was built in 1980.

stacija dzintari-010-48782601

Edinburgh Station

Bilderlingshof Station / Bulduri. Yesterday and today

Bilderlingshof station was opened in 1877. The original wooden station building, burned down during World War II in 1944, was replaced in 1947 by a stone building (architect Ozoliņš). It has had its present name since 1919.


Bilderlingshof (Russian Empire)


Bulduri (1st Republic of Latvia)


Bulduri (Latvian SSR)


Bulduri (currently)

Edinburgh I Station / Avots. Yesterday and today

Edinburgh I platform opened in 1907. In 1929 it was renamed Avoty. In 1963, the station was closed.


Edinburgh I (Russian Empire)


Edinburgh I/Avoty (1st Lat.)


Avoty (Latvian SSR)


At the present time

Edinburgh I Station / Avots. Yesterday and today

Edinburgh station was opened in 1877. In 1929 it was renamed Dzintari. In 1964, after the Dzintari stop was shifted to the Avota platform, a combined stop was created. A new building with a spacious waiting room and ticket office was built in 1980.


Edinburgh II (Russian Empire)


Edinburgh II/Dzintari (1st Lat. Rep.)


Dzintari (Latvian SSR)


Dzintari (currently)


But nowadays the house No. 13 has undergone significant changes and has been transformed into a VIP class private club. It has created a comfortable atmosphere for recreation and celebrations. The club offers rent of a club zone with a stage and light and sound equipment, rest rooms and VIP-bedroom, autonomous SPA-zone with Finnish sauna and whirlpool baths, green area and barbecue place.

Thus, House No. 13 continues to serve as a place for recreation and entertainment as before, but now in a more luxurious and comfortable version. The Royall Club has become a new chapter in the history of the famous house on the streets of Edinburgh.

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