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Member of International Confederation of Architectural Museums ICAM


State Inspection for Heritage Protection
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"Three brothers" - Riga, Maza Pils iela 17, 19, 21
The name of this architectural ensemble has originated from a similar group of warehouses in Tallinn, bearing the name "Three sisters". The ensemble represents different development stages of medieval dwelling houses, when buildings were erected on narrow land plots.

The building in Maza Pils iela17 is the eldest masonry dwelling house in Riga (end of 15th -beginning of 16th century). The building has a gabled roof and gothic niches (the fašade also has some renaissance features). Initially the building had one room with a chimney-kitchen (jacket-chimney), the attic was used for storing goods. In 1697 there was a bakery in this house, and the building was therefore extended to the yard, and later also to the street side, thus eliminating a small front square, which suggests that from the beginning the streets of the Old Riga were wider (during the restoration in 1955-1957, managed by architect P.Saulitis, the extension was demolished).

The building in Maza Pils iela 19 gained its present look in 1646. The fašade of the building has some features of Dutch mannerism (restored after the drawing of J.C. Brotze dated 1785). The layout of the first floor is similar to that of the previous building. There is a spacious room with large checked windows above the low hall; some rooms are also located in the yard side of the second floor and in the attic. In 1746 a stone portal was added to the building.

The building in Maza Pils iela 21 has gained its present look at the end of the 17th century. The building has a baroque curved pediment, and a wooden staircase from the hall leads to small office rooms located in every floor of the building.

The backyards of all three buildings were united during the restoration, and stone portals, as well as the Riga Coat of Arms, were immured into the walls of the yard.

The architectural ensemble "Three brothers" is the location of State Inspection for Heritage Protection and Latvian Museum of Architecture.

Preliminary work for the establishment of Latvian Museum of Architecture was done in 1992, when Architectural drawings and manuscripts sector was established in Heritage Documentation Centre of State Inspection for Heritage Protection. The collection of drawings and biographies of architects, granted by architect Leons Plaucins, was systemised and collection of other items was continued.

Latvian Museum of Architecture was established upon order No.100 of the Minister of Culture of Latvia, dated 28 July 1994, and it started functioning as a structural unit of State Inspection for Heritage Protection located in the Old Town, Maza Pils iela 17. Mr. Janis Lejnieks was appointed Director of the museum by the order of the Minister of Culture. The official opening of Latvian Museum of Architecture took place on 19 April 1995 and was done by the Minister of Culture, with participation of the Prime Minister. The opening was marked by an exhibition of drawings from the collections of the newly established museum.