The Blackheads were a congregation of young merchants and bachelors who enjoyed a great importance and prestige in the social and cultural life of Riga. The name of the house comes from the patron saint of the congregation, St. Maurice, who was, according to the tradition, a black African man. The house was raised in the 14th century as a meeting place for the brotherhood, which bought it in 1713. The building was enlarged and rebuilt numerous times, though maintaining many of the original elements, among which stands out the world’s richest collection of silver objects. For many centuries the house represented the most exclusive and lasting building in Riga, until the Second World War. A reconstruction plan began only in 1995, with the proclamation of independence of Latvia, and the works terminated in 2004.
7 Rātslaukums (Townhallsquare)