Stepped in History
Both Latvian history and Bergs family history spanning three generations are an integral part of the Hotel Bergs.
The Hotel Bergs forms part of a unique complex of eclectically styled buildings that are linked together by an open pedestrian walkway. The complex was named Bergs Bazaar in honor of its developer, the well-known Latvian entrepreneur and public figure, Kristaps Bergs (1843 - 1907). At the end of the 19th century, Kristaps Bergs and architect Konstantins Peksens, aware of the needs of the burgeoning urban population, had the foresight to acquire and develop a plot of land located beyond the medieval walls of the city and surrounded by small wooden houses, allotments and a cabbage patch. By 1900, the Bazaar became a unique architectural complex, bustling with trade and pedestrians and housing a total of 131 shops and restaurants, including a printing shop.
During the Soviet occupation of Latvia, Bergs Bazaar became the property of the state and was sadly neglected and lost its unique charm and bustling atmosphere. In 1991, following the renewed independence of Latvia, the descendants of Kristaps Bergs regained private ownership of the Bergs Bazaar and began restoring the complex.
Located within the historic center of Riga, a recognized UNESCO′s World Heritage site, today the Bergs Bazaar is once again an architectural gem and reflects the best of contemporary Riga. It is an oasis for pedestrians in the city center with its walkways, beautiful trees, cozy cafés, restaurants, and unique shops and boutiques.
During 2002 and 2003, architect Zaiga Gaile, together with Andrejs Andersons of the Sydney-based architecture firm, Peddle, Thorp & Walker, carried out the restoration of Hotel Bergs. The hotel bears the symbol of a cabbage in honor of Kristaps Bergs´ ambition to construct a modern and lively trading center in a cabbage patch outside the city walls. Fully reconstructed, the Bergs Bazaar successfully combines its historic roots with contemporary style and modern facilities.
The Art Nouveau designed Hotel Bergs allows guests to enjoy a contemporary yet family-like environment. Simple black-and-white colored tones, together with natural materials such as leather furniture and oak floors, doors and windows, dominate the hotel’s interior. Made popular by fashion designers Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani, the linen furnishings within guest rooms were hand-woven by the Latvian textile artist, Laima Kaugure. Throughout the hotel, works of Latvian old masters merge with African traditional textiles and woodcarvings. Old beautiful fireplaces and items from the Bergs family’s private collection complement the contemporary furniture and light fixtures.
Adorning the hotel walls are paintings by such great Latvian artists as Janis Rozentals and Janis Tilbergs. Guests are also greeted by portraits depicting members of the Bergs family. Most significant, the hotel is home to an exhibition of 120 works of Ilmârs Blumbergs, the famous Latvian contemporary scene-designer and black-and-white artist. Bloomberg’s painted those works of art placed in guest rooms, the unique murals in the conference room and helped design the marvelous fountain in hotel’s courtyard.