The most well-known architect of all time in Liepāja, Paul Max Bertschy worked on creating the city’s image for over 30 years and the buildings that have formed his legacy can still be found in the streets of Liepāja.
P. M. Bertschy was born in 1840 in Germany. After moving to Latvia, he first worked in Riga and Daugavpils but moved to Liepāja in 1870 when the mayor of Liepāja Karl Gottlieb Ulich invited him there.
He served as the city’s Chief Architect for 31 years and created a large number of both public and private buildings. The buildings created by Bertschy and his sons continued to define the city’s image until the tragic days of 1941 and 1944 when many of Liepāja’s most beautiful buildings were turned to rubble. Nonetheless, more than 70 of Bertschy’s buildings still adorn the city and many have undergone extensive restoration.
To honour the contribution of Bertschy, plaques with the architect’s own signature have been attached to the buildings he built.
The buildings designed by P. M. Bertschy are mostly built using red bricks or a combination of bricks and plaster, or bricks and stones. By using such a simple construction material as red bricks Bertschy succeeded in endowing the city with an architecturally beautiful image.