House of the Blackheads


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Blackheads Brotherhood was the association of unmarried merchants, one of the biggest guilds in late medieval Riga. Between 13th and 16th century Riga was one of the Hanseatic Leaugue cities, which meant that it was reach city, where many influent merchants lived and trade. The patron saint of this guild was Moorish martyr st. Maurice, and his head is a coat of arm, from which the brotherhood took its name.

The House of the Blackheads was built in 14th century, as a meeting place of different organizations. The Brotherhood gradually take care of the building, finally buying it for themselves. The main shape of the building stay the same from first, Gothic construction, but most of decoration origin to 16th - 19th centuries renovations.
After the second world war, the building was almost entirely ruined, but general rebuilt took place. In 1999 the building was ceremonially opened, and a statue of Roland, symbol of free Hanseatic city, was placed back on a Ratslaukums.

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