Riga: Melngalvju Nams

Melngalvju

Located in Rātslaukums (Town Hall Square) is Melngalvju Nams – The Blackheads House. First recorded in 1334, the house was built as a meeting place for festivities and for various public organizations. Rebuilt in 1522, the building during the 17th century became the home of the German merchants association known as the Blackheads Company.

Melngalvju1

The building, along with many others in the square, was demolished during World War II. Following archaeological excavations in 1992, reconstruction of the building began in 1995 on the site of the former house. Completed in 1999, the building now holds concerts, exhibitions and is home to a museum. An eclectic mix of architectural styles, the facade features Dutch Renaissance detailing, recessed brick gothic arches and is richly adorned with allegorical sculptures and armorial shields. The inscription engraved onto the walls of the building translates “Should I ever crumble to dust, rebuild my walls you must.”

Melngalvju3

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