House of the Black Heads
Important community center of Riga, was first mentioned in sources in 1334th as the Great Guild's new building, which was located in Riga's Town Hall Square.
House of the Black Heads, initially called the New House, was built in 1334. It has been rebuilt many times beginning with 1522, when the door-side stones were placed at the entrance, until the end of 19 century when statues of lions were placed above the entrance and the statue of St. George appeared at the corner of extension. The Statue of Roland, symbol of free cities of Hanseatic league in Middle Age period, was erected in the Town Square in 1896 and can be seen now in St. Peter's Church, but a replica of it made in 2000 is situated in the Square.
The House was built as a place for meetings and feasts of different public organizations. The society of the Black Heads, which consisted of spirited, joyous and enterprising, usually german merchants, became the sole tenant of the House in the 17th century. One of patrons of the Society was St.Mauritius, the commander of a roman legion, who died as a martyr. This is why the reproduction of the moor's head became the distinguishing mark of the Black Heads, it was depicted in the coat-of-arms of the Society. The House, known as most ornate building in Riga, just like the Town Hall, turned into the ashes in World War II. In the post-war period the interest in the House of the Black Heads did not cease. Many plans for rebuilding were proposed. A memorial exhibition was organized in St. Peter's Church in 1991. The archaeological excavations were begun in 1992 at the site of the House. In 1995 the rebuilding of the House was started.
Since 1999, Riga can pride itself on authentic reconstruction of the House.