Not every house has a cat in the roof :) But in Riga - yes, it is :) The house surely has the Cat name after two black cats put on the roof. The owner of the house turned cats’ tails into the Guild hall to protest, but later he had to turn it back. I have to admit - great way to protest.
The Cat House is a big yellow house with black cats on top of the roof of the two small corner towers. There are several stories that explain why the cats are there. One of the most common is about a Latvian businessman who was refused entry to the city guild (the Big Guild Hall was only for rich German traders). Therefore he put statuettes of his cats with the backs arched and tails up against the Guild Hall. After it had become a court case the Latvian businessman was admitted to the guild, but he then had to turn the cats to another position.
This "house" took the name from two black cats perched on the roof.
At the century end, the owner of this house has been exiled from the Great Guild and they ordered him to turn the cats with their tails towards the Guild.
This house with was built in Jugendstil was named after two black cats situated on the roof. Story goes that the owner of the house was thrown out of the Great Guild at the end of the 19th century. Out of disrespect he had those cats put up with their backs turned towards the building of the Great Guild. Alas, after some time in court the man was admitted back to the illustrous guild and the cats were turned...
The Cat House is so-called because there are two black cats perched on its towers. The black cats have had a very controversial history since they were erected about 100 years ago. First of all the sculptor fell off the roof and died whilst putting them up and the reason they were there in the first place was because the owner of the building had been black-balled for admission to the Great Guild. He vented his displeasure by having the two sculptures added to the roof. However, the way he did it was the real highlight - they originally had their tails raised and their behinds pointing directly at the Guild House! He was later admitted to the guild and now they no longer "moon" the guild!
The story behind this buildings tells that a Latvian business man was refused a membership of a guild and therefore he went and bought the nearest land to the guildhall and build a house on it. He really wanted to spite them and so he put two cat statues on top of his house directing the backsides of the cats to the guildhall. Well, eventually he had to change the cats position, but the cats are still there reminding about the story.
I've heard three versions why the Cat House is called so.
One of the buildings' which rouse curiosity is this house, only you need to raise your head and look on top. There you can see two cats on the roof and after that the building got such name.
Some time ago the owner of the building was argued with Town House. He put on the roof one cat towards Town Hall and in a hurry he put the other one at the night. But as it was dark he put it on wrong way. The Great Guild objected and sued the owner.
A large yellow building with cats on each of the two towers. There’s a story about the cats, too. A Latvian businessman wanted to be accepted to the city guild but was refused so he bought the nearest property he could find to the guildhouse, had a house built and put a cat on the top so that each of them directed their back to the guildhouse. Only after he was accepted to the city guild the cats were turned to look at the guildhouse.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Latvian owner of the Cat House had statuettes made of the back ends of his black cats-backs arched and tails up. He placed them on the buildings topmost pinnacles facing the Big Guild Hall across the road as a gesture of defiance against the guild that refused him entry, as it was strictly reserved for rich german traders. Following a lengthly court case, he was admited to the guild on the condition that he turn his cats around to a more elegant position.
In Lonely Planet "Estoni, Latvia & Lithuania" book page 239 about Riga.
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