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Embassy building

The Danish embassy in Latvia is located at Pils iela 11 in the Old Town of Riga, Vecrīga, next to Riga Castle and has a view to the Daugava River. Pils is Latvian for castle. The name is referring to the street which leads from Dome Square to Riga Castle, the presidents residency. The street has existed since the 15th century and the embassy is located 100 metres from Trīs brāļi (Three Brothers), which is the oldest residential building in Riga. 

The embassy building was originally built in 1901 to accommodate the British Seamen’s Institute and Club, and was intentionally placed right next to the Anglican Church. The building was designed by the local architect, Wilhelm Bockslaff (b. 1858), and funded by the Church of Great Britain and Foundation for the Needy. Bockslaff, famous for his neo-gothic and eclectic style, designed the building in an Art Nouveau style with a touch of medieval spirit, similar to the neighbouring church. 

During the end of the Soviet rule, it housed a filial of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR in Latvia. Following Latvia’s regained independence and the re-establishment of diplomatic relations, the building became the office of the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jānis Jurkāns, before being offered to Denmark in 1992.

Since 1997, the Historic Centre of Riga has been on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.