House of the Blackheads by Shawn M. Kent (Riga, Latvia)

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House of the Blackheads - Photo by Shawn M. Kent

The House of the Blackheads is one of the most picturesque pieces of medieval architecture in the Old City of Riga. Initially built for the brotherhood of the Blackheads in the 1300s, the space served as a meeting space for the guild of unmarried merchants, shipowners, and foreigners. Throughout its early history, the building developed a reputation for wild parties. The House of the Blackheads is also the site of the first publicly displayed Christmas tree in the 1500s. Sadly the building was damaged in World War II and was not reconstructed until the 1990s. Today the House of the Blackheads serves as a museum and home to many local cultural events. (Riga, Latvia)

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