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House of the Blackheads (Latvian: Melngalvju nams) 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 years 1580 and 1886, adding most of the ornamentations. The sculptures were made by the workshop of August Volz.
Historically, the building’s function was to promote business activities in the city – it was a place for a gathering of traders and shippers for many centuries. The soul of the Black Heads house was its active and joyful "blackheads", who, as young and unmarried traders, were known for their temperament and enthusiasm for the organization of various celebrations and events. Their enthusiasm transformed this building into one of the main cultural venues in the city, which set the pulse of Riga’s societal scene.
Also today, the building offers one of the most magnificent premises to organize events, concerts, celebratory dinners, receptions, conferences or other cultural events in the city.
Visiting the House is a journey through its history, which reveals both its luxurious halls, historical cabinets and medieval cellars.
You will see the largest-in-Baltics private silverware collection, crystal chandeliers, ceiling paintings at the Celebration Hall, weapons, armour and much more.