History of the old town square how did the square from?

The formation of the Old Town Square is related to the history of the city section between the current Brīvības, Viestura, Pasta and Katoļu Streets. At the time when the town was being formed in the 17th century, it was owned by the Duke. The buildings located in this section were related to the harbour – residential buildings, household buildings and warehouses.

Jēkabpils Vecpilsētas laukums

In 1710, after the great outbreak of, the plague this harbour territory lost its primary functions, as the majority of Stock Exchange factory workers died and the Stock Exchange factory itself was abandoned.

Jēkabpils Vecpilsētas laukums

In 1715 the territory of this city section was presented to the Basilican monastery. In 1773 the monastery was destroyed in a fire and in 1783 a masonry monastery and a masonry church were constructed in its place.

Jēkabpils Vecpilsētas laukums

Several large yards or groups of half-manor type houses located in place of the Old Town Square served as stables and warehouses – the city base for separate factories and manor houses.

In the layout plan of 1797 (see Picture 1) it can be seen that the dominant part of this city section was the Uniate Church located on the edge of the section (today the Sanctuary Orthodox Church of the Holy Virgin) (see Picture 3), which rose above the other constructions. At the end of the 18th century the main household buildings were located around it: the Town Hall (then located on the Western side of a small unnamed street, which still connects the Old Town Square with the banks of the Daugava River) and the Court Building (located on the current Square corner of Brīvības Street).

Jēkabpils Vecpilsētas laukums

The city reconstruction project of 1818 mentions that the old market square (which was then located next to the Orthodox Monastery) was not appropriate and that the market had to be relocated to the square next to the Uniate Church, which was owned by the State and which would then be available for reconstruction into store stalls. The layout plan of 1848 (see Picture 2) no longer includes the household buildings of the internal section. The current eastern and western parts of the Square were free of buildings.

In 1865 a special Street Paving Commission was founded in Jēkabpils. It is possible that the initial square was paved exactly at this period. In the beginning of the 20th century, the new city market square was paved. The House of Scales was located at its centre, and there was a water pump to one side (see Picture 4). The majority of the buildings that enclose the square today were constructed during this period – at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. After the early 1960s, a part of the square began to be used as a bus terminal, while the rest of it was used as a parking lot.

Jēkabpils Vecpilsētas laukums

Since 2005 after the construction of the new bus terminal, the Old Town Square is used as the main city parking lot and the location where city events are held.