Cat House [Kaķu māja]

The Cat House of Riga is one of the city’s landmarks built in 1909. This custard yellow art nouveau building at Meistaru 10/12 is probably named as such for the two black feline sculptures with arched backs and raised tails on its roof.

Now, the story behind the feline sculptures is quite interesting! Legend has it that it was a revenge of a wealthy businessman who was denied admission to the Great Guild. One has to learn that in that period, if you were trading and not in the Great Guild, you simply had not made it, which could have meant his business might have been affected as well.

However, his method of revenge was not very conventional. He clearly wanted everyone to see his disgruntlement towards the Great Guild.

This businessman happened to own the building across the House of the Great Guild. He then ordered two sculptures of the black felines to be placed at the roof of his building and for the cats’ backsides (A-hole) towards the House of the Great Guild!

The members of the Great Guild certainly did not take it lying down and took the wealthy businessman to court, engaging in a lengthy legal battle. Eventually, they came to a consensus that the wealthy businessman to have the feline sculptures turned around to face the House of the Great Guild and he was admitted to the Great Guild.

It was also rumoured that this pair of black feline sculptures cursed their sculptor as he fell to his death while putting them up! Ooohhh…. scary Black Cats!

*Photo credits to Froggy

Cat on Roof

Front Facade

Art Nouveau Front


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