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Great and Small Guilds, Latvia

Experienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyager Shirley Goodmann
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The Great and Small Guilds were the "family nests" of the two Riga families of tradesmen and merchants. The Great Guild, also known in the Middle Ages as St. Mary's Guild, unified merchants and jewelers. The eclectic Gothic style building was constructed in the 50s of the 19th century. Up to 1939 it hosted private organization of Riga German community. In 1963, after fire, it was rebuilt for concert needs and now the Great Guild hosts the Latvian Philharmonic Society.

The Small Guild's owner was a closed fellowship of craftsmen that had been formed in the 18th century and in the middle of the last century unified representatives of more than 400 professions. Craftsmen did not have such an important influence on city's activities as merchants did. So their guild was called the Small Guild, just opposite to the Merchants' Guild.

Now the Small Guild also serves cultural and entertainment needs. Artistic parties and concerts are held there. More info on: www.riga-hotels.net

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