House of the Brotherhood of Black Heads

Tallinn, Estonia

The House of Black Heads (Estonian Mustpeade maja) is a Renaissance-style building in Tallinn old town. The building's name is derived from its developers, the Brotherhood of Black Heads which was the guild of foreign unmarried merchants. The Brotherhood was founded sometime around 1399 and was active in Estonia and Latvia.

A 14th-century residential building probably occupied this site when the Black Heads bought up the property in the early 1500s. They immediately installed a new hall with an archless ceiling, but the serious rebuilding got underway in 1597 when the Dutch Renaissance façade, with its profusion of ornaments and carved decorations, was added. The eye-catching front door dates to 1640.

Inside you can see a two-naved, vaulted hall, which bought from the neighbouring St. Olav's Guild and dates to the 15th century. The site is frequently used for concerts and other gala occasions, and naturally any event held here will take on a timeless quality.

References: Tourism Tallinn

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Address

Pikk 26, Tallinn, Estonia
See all sites in Tallinn

Details

Founded: 1597
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Estonia
Historical period: Part of the Swedish Empire (Estonia)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alexandra Nechita (23 months ago)
I thinks this is the most beautiful and iconic building in Riga. I tried to visit on the 30th of December but the place was closed without any notice on their website.
Helen Li (2 years ago)
I paid extra €15 for the private tour. I think the guy's name is Carols? He is very informative n knowable. The tour was supposed to be 1 hour, but it lasted for 1.5 hours because I had too many questions. Ha ha, highly recommend if u visit Riga.
Hannora Frost (2 years ago)
Well worth a visit. You can happily spend a couple of hours looking around. Well laid out and everything written in English too.
C Luzzana (2 years ago)
Even if completely recostructed after the WW it remains one of the historic symbol of the city. The visit is really nice for everybody who want to learn something about Riga's life and people... Recommended!
Jolanta Broka (2 years ago)
Student ticket was 3 eur, which for quality was cheap price. Building itself is beautiful and explains the history. Employees are friendly, helpful and comunicate also in English. Place is not big, it will take around 1 h.
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