Town Hall Square and House of the Blackheads in Riga

One of the most famous and visited areas of the Riga historical centre with its symbol, is the House of the blackheads town hall square. On the square at any time of the year you can see a lot of people, people walk, take pictures and sit in cafes with open terraces.

Town Hall Square in Riga

Town hall square (Ratslaukums) is the most beautiful area of old Riga and the oldest cultural-representative center. Originally the site of the modern town hall square, which can be seen at the present time was a city market. The Bazaar flocked merchants from all around, bringing goods to trade. Based on the direct destination square, for many years the area was called the Market. It was not only the trade point, but also the administrative core of the city.

Over time, the area was developed and expanded, giving it greater importance. In a subsequent rich German merchants began to buy land in the area and to build on these sites wealthy homes. Throughout the medieval period the area held a carnival, parades of the guards, urban competition for the title of best defender of the city and other city celebrations. The main object of the square was the town Hall, in whose honor and was named the area.

Town Hall square in Riga

Town Hall Square in Riga photo

Currently, the town hall square is a small plot of land, framed by the magnificent buildings of medieval architecture. Its main structure, of course, stands the town Hall. In the town Hall until 1889 was the city Council, and later stopped there and is currently the Riga city Council. Over its turbulent history the town Hall was rebuilt many times and rebuilt. Today the town Hall is a three-story building, with columns at the main entrance, a balcony and a clock tower.

Town Hall on Riga's Town Hall Square

Town hall square itself is legendary, but its iconic building is the house of the blackheads. It is because of this famous house on the square attracts hundreds of tourists, each of which tries to take a picture of the legendary structure. The house of blackheads is located exactly opposite the town Hall.

In the photo the House of blackheads to the right. The smaller building to the left of the house of blackheads, this is the home Schwab. About the house Schwabe will describe below.

the house of the Blackheads and the house of Shvabe in Riga

The house of the blackheads (Latvian name Melngalvju nams, German - Das Schwarzhäupterhaus) is a protected state monument of architecture of XIV century. As the town Hall, the house of blackheads was reconstructed many times. The last restoration of the building occurred between 1996 and 2000 for the celebration of the 800th anniversary of Riga.

This interesting name house of the blackheads, the building was because of its history. And the history of the house is as follows: at the end of XIII century there was a Brotherhood of St. George, which was open to young, unmarried foreign merchants. The original cartridge was of the brotherhood of SV. George, patron of knights and warriors, and later became St. Mauritius, whose symbol was a black head, which found its reflection in the coat of arms of the Brotherhood. So the Pact was called the blackheads. The brotherhood of blackheads was engaged in the purchase and delivery of goods in Riga, and later they have created in Riga is a company of blackheads. In 1477 the Blackheads rented a room in the upper floor of the New house at the Riga city Council. Earlier, the house of blackheads was called New home. Gradually the members of the brotherhood have invested money in decoration and reconstruction of the building. So the house got its former name the house of the blackheads. Trade in your pre-lunch watch house served as the exchange and in the evening it was burgers, they are relaxing and fun, spent the festive events, balls, drinking spree and organized concerts.

Currently, the house of blackheads is one of the symbols of Riga. It offers tours, exhibitions, celebrations. However, at present it is impossible to get, because, in connection with the repair of the Riga lock with 2012, the House of blackheads serves as the seat of the President of Latvia. So, we were not lucky, nor in the Riga castle, nor in the house of the blackheads we did not get, but nothing, not the last time was in Riga))

house of the Blackheads in Riga

View of the house of blackheads in the dark

view of the house of the Blackheads in Riga at night

The facade of the house of blackheads done in the style of Northern European mannerism. On the façade you can see four zinc statues of Neptune, mercury, Unity and Peace. At the entrance is depicted the coat of arms, the right has a black head, I think you already guessed why?

architecture of the house of the Blackheads in Riga

And now a little about the aforementioned home Schwab! Many two are similar in appearance, standing next to the building are perceived as one and called them by mistake the house of blackheads. And no... this is a very common misconception. I must admit we have not yet started to prepare this material of thought these two buildings is the House of blackheads....

The house of the blackheads, one right of the building, liostasi is the home of the Schwab! We have already mentioned above.

Annex to the House of the brotherhood of blackheads existed initially. It was a small nondescript building which in its history served as a storage building, and the building of the police and even the courts. In 1842, the building passed into the ownership of wine merchant H. P. Schwab. Then received applicable to this day, the name, Home Schwab. Later, no less a wealthy owner of the House Schwab, merchant Emil Schmidt wanted to join the Brotherhood of the blackheads, but he refused. By refusing to honor the distinguished merchant was badly wounded, after which he decided to take revenge and ordered the famous Riga architect to do a complete renovation of the house, so much so that externally, the house looked no worse than the nearby house of the blackheads. What was done, what we can observe currently. In 1941, the House Schwabe, together with the House of blackheads was completely resolved, and at the end of the twentieth century, two buildings were restored as a single complex.

Another recognizable and famous symbol of the town square is a statue of the knight Roland.

Roland's statue is installed in the center of the square and is a symbol of freedom of the medieval city. Currently, the original granite statue of Roland, Riga last is stored in the Museum of St. Peter's Church. The square also installed a copy of it.

statue of the Knight Roland in Riga

At the foot of the statue of Roland street musicians put on concerts, and onlookers gather around to listen to the music and stare.

monument to Roland on the Town Hall Square in Riga

The above-mentioned St. Peter's Church is a hallmark of the city of Riga. A high tower of the Church is visible from all points of the old town. The tower is an observation deck that you can climb. The Playground offers beautiful views of the city of Riga. Details about St Peter's Church, we talked in a previous article, read and see pictures here.

Town Hall Square and St. Peter's Church in Riga

Today town hall square is considered one of the most beautiful squares of Riga, with a rich history and beautiful architecture. That is the starting point for many excursion routes around the city. By the way Riga Card offers free tour of Riga, the tour starts at the town hall square every day at 10:30. About Riga Card we will tell in one of the following articles, follow us on this blog, we are always happy to share with You the many new, interesting and useful information.

On the town hall square everywhere scurry guides, offering tourists their services. Also on the square is the Museum of the occupation of Latvia, Riga technical University and the tourist information centrewhere you can take a free tourist map of Riga, informational brochures and get advice.

The Museum of the occupation of Latvia (Latvijas Okupacijas muzejs) is dedicated to the history of Latvia from 1940 to 1991, when the country was under Soviet and German occupation.

Museum of the Occupation of Latvia in Riga

In the square at the entrance to the Museum is a monument to the Latvian Riflemen 1915-1920 years (Latviesu strelnieku)

monument to Latvian shooters in Riga

Riga Polytechnic Institute, abbreviated as FIR

Riga Polytechnic Institute

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