If you visit Riga, you must stop by the Cat House, a custard yellow building at Meistaru 10/12, embellished with two black cat statues on the roof.
The legend known by most people in Riga, which is also told to tourists, has two versions. According to the first version, in the early twentieth century, the wealthy Latvian merchant who commissioned the building was refused membership of the Riga Tradesmen’s Guild, called the Great Guild. Seeking revenge the merchant had two copper statues of angry-looking cats with arched backs and raised tails placed on the rooftops with their tails turned towards the house of the Great Guild, situated across the street.
The other version of the cat house legend has it that the wealthy merchant placed the two statues of angry-looking cats on the building with their tails towards the Riga Town Hall, after a dispute with Riga City Council.
Nobody knows which version is more accurate, but we, cat lovers, thank the merchant for such an original idea!
Have you ever visited Riga?
Images via Eurobuildings