Wilhelm Bockslaff

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Vilhelms Bokslafs
Born Wilhelm Ludwig Nicholas Bockslaff
(1858-10-12)12 October 1858
Riga, Russian Empire
Died 9 March 1945(1945-03-09) (aged 86)
Poznań, Poland
Nationality Baltic German
Education Riga Polytechnicum
Known for Architecture
Movement Eclecticism, Art Nouveau

Wilhelm Ludwig Nicholas Bockslaff (Latvian: Vilhelms Bokslafs) (October 12, 1858, Riga - March 9, 1945, Poznań) was a Baltic German architect working in Riga.[1] He is considered one of the most important representatives of Eclecticism, Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau styles in the city. He is noted in particular for his construction of churches.


Wilhelm Bockslaff was born in Riga on the 12th of October 1858. His father was the wealthy merchant and industrialist Nicholas Ludwig Bockslaff. In 1878 he started architecture studies in Riga Polytechnicum and graduated in 1885. After graduation he stayed in the polytechnikum to work as an assistant. He also worked in the offices of architects Johann Koch and Heinrich Scheel. Later he established his own architects office. In this period he studied the history of St. Peter's church in Riga and other medieval buildings in the city. In 1894 he married Eva Riker.

Bockslaff worked mainly in eclectic styles especially in the Neo-Gothic style. However he also designed buildings in forms of Art Nouveau. Most notable buildings are Jaunmokas Manor near Tukums and the Commercial school in Riga (Now Art Academy of Latvia). Architect also restored many manors after the Revolution of 1905. He also has designed large number of churches and various industrial objects such as factories and water towers.

In the 1930s he designed an impressive memorial for him and his wife in Riga Great Cemetery. However, only his wife was buried there in 1939. He himself was forced to leave Latvia together with a majority of Baltic Germans and settled in Posen. He died on March 9, 1945 in Posen. His daughter buried him in the garden of their residence. After the war he was anonymously reburied in a local cemetery.

In honor of the architect's 150th birthday a monument was erected in the park of Mālpils Manor.

See also[edit]


  • This article was initially translated from the German Wikipedia.
  1. ^ Krastiņš, Jānis (2002). Rīgas arhitektūras meistari 1850-1940 : The masters of architecture of Riga 1850-1940. (in Latvian and English). Riga: Jumava. ISBN 9984-05-450-0. OCLC 52258305.