The House of the Blackheads is a building situated in the old town of Riga, Latvia. The original building was erected in 1334 as a warehouse, meeting and celebration place for merchants. It was the biggest public building of Riga. From mid 15th century it was also used by 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. In the 19th century some of 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.
Originated from a small fishermen village, for centuries Riga has been an important part of the trade chain between Russia and Western Europe. A lively crossroad of cultures and backgrounds for over 800 years, the historical centre of Riga has accumulated an impressive cultural baggage and today is justly included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage list.