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Three Brothers

Three Brothers is the oldest block of dwelling houses in Rīga. The houses are situated on Mazā Pils Street. The name “Three Brothers” has been given on the basis of similarity to the Three Sisters in Tallinn – a group of warehouses in the Old Town.

The oldest survived dwelling house is located at 17 Mazā Pils Street. This house was built in the late 15th century when Rīga established contacts with merchants from the Netherlands and, as a result of this cooperation, some traits of Renaissance characteristic of the Netherlands architecture started to appear in Rīga architecture as well. There is a small area in front of the house for a porch with stone benches and stones placed near the door.

The property signs carved into these stones used to serve as an address of the house.

Houses located at 19 and 21 Mazā Pils Street are younger and without any free area in front of them. They are all together called the Three Brothers and represent different development stages of medieval dwelling houses in the period when houses were built on narrow plots of land. Three Brothers were restored in 1955-1957 according to designs of the architect P. Saulītis. After completion of works all courtyards of the houses were joined together. The wall contains portals from buildings not existing anymore, Rīga coat of arms from the Blue Guards’ weapon warehouse that burnt down, as well as the coat of arms of one of the owners of Three Brothers that shows ears, thus indicating that this owner was a baker. In 1687, the first patisserie in Rīga started to operate in this building.

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