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The best known house in Riga is the House Of the Blackheads.
From Wikipedia (sorry it is so long :))
The Brotherhood of Blackheads (German: Bruderschaft der Schwarzhäupter) was an association of local unmarried merchants, ship owners, and foreigners that was active in Livonia (present-day Estonia and Latvia) from the mid 14th century till 1940. It was founded as a military organization, however, the non-military aspects of the association gradually became more pronounced until the Brotherhood became a predominantly social organization after the end of the Great Northern War. he brotherhood traces its origin to a group of foreign merchants who, according to the legend, had participated in the defense of Reval (present-day Tallinn in Estonia) during the St. George's Night Uprising between 1343 and 1345 when the indigenous population of Estonia unsuccessfully tried to exterminate all foreigners and eradicate Christianity from Estonia.In the 18th and 19th centuries, the local brotherhoods of Blackheads were important as social organizations that sponsored social events, such as parties and concerts, and collected objects of fine art. In Tallinn and Riga, the houses of the Brotherhood, along with the medieval traditions still practiced in them, became important cultural and social centers for social elites. In 1895, the Brotherhood of Blackheads in Tallinn was formally reconstituted into the Blackheads Club. The brotherhoods in Tallinn and Riga carried on in independent Estonia and Latvia until the beginning of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States in 1940, when the occupation authorities dissolved the Brotherhood. Most of the members were able to flee to Germany, where they tried to continue their traditions.
The exact origin of the term 'blackhead' is unknown. The patron saint of the Brotherhood of Blackheads is the Christian Egyptian* Saint Mauritius whose head is also depicted on the Brotherhood's coat of arms.

I didn't realize that St. Maurizius, known from instance from famous El Greco painting, was a black man. You can see him on the right side of the gate.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5066 W: 81 N: 12910] (75075)
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