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House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads

Tallinn, Estland



The House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads is nearly the only preserved Renaissance building in Tallinn.? ? The Brotherhood of Blackheads emerged in 1399. The Brotherhood united the young, single merchants before they could be accepted into the Great Guild, as well as foreign merchants who were residing in Tallinn for longer periods but not permanently.? ? The name of the Brotherhood is associated with their patron, the black St. Mauritius, an early Christian martyr who died in Switzerland around 280-300 A.D. His head is the mascot on the Brotherhood%u2019s coat of arms. The Brotherhood was active only in Estonia and Latvia, unknown in the rest of Europe. Members of the Brotherhood left Tallinn in the 1940s.? ? The site of the House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads probably had a residential building on it from the 14th century. In the first half of the 16th century, the Blackheads bought it and built a new hall with an archless ceiling.? ? The next serious rebuilding took place in 1597, when the facade was redesigned in the Dutch Renaissance architectural spirit, with a profusion of ornaments and carved decorations. One of Tallinn%u2019s most eye-catching doors, on the front of this building, dates to 1640.? ? The two-naved and vaulted guild hall, bought from the Olav Guild, dates to the 15th century. The next renovation took place in 1908, but this time it only affected the interiors, which were given a neo-classical appearance.? ?

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