The House of the Blackheads (Latvian: Melngalvju nams, German: Schwarzhäupterhaus) is a building situated in the old town of Riga, Latvia. The original building was erected during the first third of the 14th century for the Brotherhood of Blackheads, a guild for unmarried merchants, shipowners, and foreigners in Riga. Major works were done in the early 17th century, adding most of the Mannerist ornamentation. The sculptures were made by the workshop of August Volz. Additionally, it is the site of the first decorated Christmas tree, which was erected in 1510.
The building was bombed to a ruin by the Germans on June 28, 1941 - a week after the launching of Operation Barbarossa - and the remains were demolished by the Soviets in 1948. It was rebuilt between 1996 and 1999 with funds provided by Valērijs Kargins, the president of Parex Bank. Part of the funds donated were from all the people who wanted to participate in the rebuilding process, by joining in the event ''I build the House of the Black Heads'', where by donating 5 lats (approximately 7-11 EUR) they could symbolically put a brick on the wall. There were more than 5,000 participants. The House of the Black Heads was officially opened on December 9, 1999.
|Tuesday||11:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||11:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||11:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||11:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||11:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||11:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
barkin atalay | Feb 2, 2018
So sad this place was destroyed during war. But they have rebuilt it for the 800th birthday of Riga as a gift to the people. Worth a visit. Only 3€ if you are a student
Colm Sharkey | Jan 28, 2018
Truly magnificent. Considering it was raised to the ground true nazi vandalism in wwII. All credit to Latvia and The people of Riga for restoring this lovely building so lovingly. It is a statement of national identity. To miss it on a visit to Riga is to miss a part of Riga. A must see
Marcus Wraight | Jan 17, 2018
Pretty cool exhibition in relation to the Brotherhood of Blackheads and the House of them. The restoration is fantastic given it was rebuilt in the 90's. Worth the trip!
L J | Feb 24, 2018
Lovely experience for kids and adults. We all did enjoyed time spend there.
Joshua R | Jan 4, 2018
Beautiful building. But the outside is better than the inside. Lack of information about what actually happens inside.
Sanka Illangakoon | Mar 22, 2018
Beautiful building located at the heart of the city. The architecture is brilliant and was rebuilt after it was destroyed in WW2. A must visit for anyone in the area.
Sa Pr | Apr 1, 2018
One of the main touristic points of the city. The original building was erected during the 14th century for the Brotherhood of Blackheads, a guild for unmarried German merchants in Riga. The building was bombed to a ruin by the Germans on 1941 and the remains were demolished by the Soviets in 1948. The current reconstruction was erected from 1995 to 1999.
Amanda Ng | Apr 11, 2018
I highly recommend paying to visit this place. You get a good introduction to Riga’s history and the building architecture. Even if you don’t go into the place, the exterior is highly detailed. The exhibit within gives you an excellent breakdown of each architectural element.
Keluarga Pelancong | May 1, 2018
Just before entering the old town, you'll see this so extra ordinary building. A very popular photo object in Riga. Very beautiful indeed.
kate goguadze | Apr 16, 2018
My favorite place. One of the best building in Riga. Very interesting museum. You should not miss it.
Claus Pruemper | Apr 26, 2018
Very nice and impressive place. We had a banquet with several guests that really enjoyed the atmosphere. Dont miss to see the restaurated cellar.
Kim Floriance | Apr 24, 2018
Piece of medieval history in town. One of most beautiful buildings in Riga. Next to old market square, several other tourist traps and main tourist info point
Ilze Vasiļjeva | May 29, 2018
Very beautiful place. I went for the guided tour. Learnt a lot of interesting things about the history of blackheads.
James McFarlane | May 19, 2018
It's great that they rebuilt this house in 1999 following its destruction in world war two, it really is the iconic building of Riga. Its façade is picture postcard beautiful and the inside is carefully restored. There is an excellent exhibition in the basement with english language explanations of the history of the building and of Riga itself. This is the must see sight of Riga.
Chamara Wijesinghe | Jul 12, 2018
This building is a spectacular site to see. The architecture and the vibrant colours of the front facade is stunning. As per our guide they rent out the building for special events as well. If you are in Riga you will definitely want to go the town hall square and you cannot miss this.
Kim Hansen | Jul 2, 2018
A very interesting place, and a "must visit" if you're a tourist in Riga! Helpful and friendly staff who speaks english. The place is teeming with history, which you can get a real sense of down in the basement of the place (which serves as the main exhibition). The basement is built around the ruins of the actual house, which you can walk around in. The rest of the house is rebuilt, and it is beautifully done.
georgia lascar | Jul 2, 2018
One star is for the employees' behavior and the administration policy. We went on Wednesday it was closed with a notice that we could visit it next day until 18:00.We arrived at 17:30 and it was closed There was a new notice that the open hours was now until 17:30. When we tried to get answers why the hours have been changed and if we could visit as it was not our fault if they have changed the visiting hours, the attitude of the employees was inadmissible :they didn't admit this, hey accused us to lie and that they have not to apology to us finally they closed rudely the door to our face!
Kevin Hewison | Jun 29, 2018
Well worth a visit. The history of trade and commerce in the region is fascinating and the exhibition is professional and well-arranged.
Bryant O'Hara | Jul 3, 2018
I found pretty much all aspects of the history of this place - from its founding to its destruction to its reconstruction to be quite fascinating.
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