House of Blackheads [Melngalvju nams]

House of Blackheads
One of Riga's architectural treasures, the House of Blackheads was erected in 1344, but was embellished and expanded in the 16th, 17th and 19th centuries. It was destroyed in 1941 and its ruins were completely demolished by the Soviets in 1948, but it finally rose from the ashes in the late 1990s in keeping with the medieval saying above its entrance that states 'if I should fall, build me again'. A striking Gothic building with a Dutch Renaissance facade, it was used to house single members of the merchants' guild who were also notorious revellers of their day. It's even rumoured that their parties and feasts were often attended by royalty in disguise. Sadly, the President of Latvia has moved his offices here while Riga Castle is being renovated, so the building is currently not open to the public.

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House of Blackheads Comments

  • It looks so beautiful I wish to go there once
  • I don't understand why is stated in article that "it was rebuilt in honour of the city's 800th anniversary in 2001", while the House has big inscription "Renov(atur) ANNO 1999".Which year of completion reconstruction is correct?Anyway, it is a picturesque building. The city has done well, when it decided re-build this beautiful monument.
  • A very beautiful building! Though difficult to photograh in the winter months, and the facade faces north, and pictures end up being back-lit, making the front very dark.It's nice to see the city reclaim its history this way, and not let it be forgotten in the rubble of past Soviet ideology.


Rātslaukums 7


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