Mentzendorff House

Riga, Latvia

Mentzendorff House, a subunit of the Museum of History and Navigation, with its 17-18th century atmosphere is the only museum of its kind in the Baltics. The exposition is set up in a building of 1695, which up to 1939 was a dwelling-house with a shop and warehouses.

A dwelling-house museum renders the everyday life of wealthy Riga residents in the past. The unique ceiling and wall paintings of the 17th-18th centuries have been matched by respective objects of interior from the History and Navigation Museum, with every room furnished in a different manner. Visitors can have a look around the old shop, a kitchen with the so-called “coat chimney”, a salon, a dance hall, a “poet’s room”, a family chapel, a master’s room, a “girl’s room”, or go down to the cellar or up in the attic, both of which now accommodate exhibition halls.

The museum stores 2000 exhibits which tell the history of the house and the life-stories of its various inmates.

The museum acquired its name from the last owners of the house – the merchant family of Mentzendorffs. In 19th and 20th centuries August Mentzendorff’s shop was still the place to buy the best coffee in Riga. Ties with the Mentzendorff family have been retained and its descendants support museum activities both in spirit and practice. The grandson of A. Mentzendorff, prof. Dietrich Andre Loeber, was nominated for the Museum of History and Navigation Friendship Card due to his substantial assistance.

Already back in the 17th century the house accommodated a glass workshop run by Jürgen Helm. The tradition has been preserved – also nowadays the Mentzendorff House has a contemporary glass studio, the Centre of Glass Art and Studies. The creation of glass artworks can be observed in action. Preliminary booking will provide an opportunity to learn some glass artwork skills.

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Address

Grēcinieku iela 18, Riga, Latvia
See all sites in Riga

Details

Founded: 1695
Category: Museums in Latvia
Historical period: Part of the Swedish Empire (Latvia)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tammie (10 months ago)
Very nice museum with an opportunity to taste Riga Balsam.
HC PinGviini (14 months ago)
The place was a sweet delight. A homely old house with artisan works on display. Accessibility very poor, nothing for wheelchairs or otherwise assisted walkers. For a short visit fits both adults and families.
Tim Barnett (16 months ago)
The differences on each floor were interesting. There were folders with information about what's in each room. This museum wasn't crowded, so we could enjoy looking around at our own pace. The staff were friendly.
Ainis Feldorfs (2 years ago)
Super place where you can not only see but feel history.
Thomas Berwick (2 years ago)
An old merchants house in Riga, with various antiques from time. Was a pleasant visit.
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