Maza Gilde Small Guild
RENOVATION & RESTORATION
1999-2000
Now the Big Hall is Lighter
Renovations were made in two stages. First of all the Big Hall was restored and in the next turn the Small Hall, Belakorda Hall, Entrance-Hall, staircase, facade, front garden and the entrance were restored.
The Big Hall is the biggest room of the building and it proved to be the most complicated task for the restorers. Its panorama paintings of the towns and the emblems of crafts-corporations were carefully restored; the ceiling was renovated according to its initial design, the parquet floor was re-laid, so that now ladies can waltz with no fear to break a stiletto heel; the missing chandelier was made anew and the other two were restored. The stage, a supplement of the Soviet times, was removed as historically the hall was designed without it. Arturs Lapins, the director of the restoration project, says that the restoration of the jewel of the Small Guild has been a result of the research spade-work. Now the hall has become lighter.
The Small Guild had been built in two stages. By 1866 the building had been half-erected but then its construction has stopped. Only after 20 years the further works had been resumed.
A considerable part of the famous stained-glass windows of the Big Hall had been in a poor state but they were renewed. By the way, the Small Guild was all crafts corporation which was first mentioned in chronicles in 1930. It lasted until 1935.
The floor made by Italian craftsmen is still living
The Belakorda Hall and the Small Hall have got back their historical look too. In the Belakorda Hall the emblems of crafts corporations were restored, while in the Small Hall the 14th century chandeliers were renovated. When you come into the Entrance-Hall don't forget to look down as the floor under your feet is the only 'Terraco Veneciano' in Latvia. "The floor is unique because between the layers of mosaic there is no dividing passage, i. e. separate splinters of granite form the pattern. The floor was made by the genuine Italian craftsmen. This is the only floor of such type in Latvia which was re-laid anew", Ervins Koncevics, the head of the project, says. His assistant, Janis Rozenbergs, adds that the restorers had inquired about the floors of the kind before they set to work. In the course of the work they found out that the old craftsmen had cast the plaster of Paris first, then drawn the outlines and taken out piece by piece to lay the pattern.
The statue of Edvard von Hollander, the last elected burgomaster of Riga, returned to its historical place - the right corner of the building. It was cast anew by the sculptor Edvins Krumins.
Burgomaster Hollander
Eduard von Hollander was a burgomaster of Riga from 1860 till 1889. He paid a special attention to the development of municipal economy and carried out some important reforms of the system. At that time the Guild of craftsmen was in charge of the municipal economy. So its seniors appreciated greatly von Hollander's competence and broad-mindness and decided to immortalise his great services to his town.
Besides Eduard von Hollander participated actively in the preliminary work on the introduction of the new order of municipality issued by Alexander II. In 1901, the year of the 700th anniversary of Riga, the Guild decided to present von Hollander with the statue which was placed on the facade of the Small Guild. The further fate of the statue is described by Aleksandrs Fridrihs Neilands, a historian of Riga. In 1915, together with many other metal statues of Riga, the statue of von Hollander was evacuated to Russia and got lost there.

Address: Maza Gilde, 3/5 Amatu Str., Riga LV1050, Latvia
Tel.: +371 67223772, +371 67037418
www.gilde.lv/maza
e-mail:
maza.gilde@riga.lv, maza.gilde@latnet.lv
Contact person: Lilita Laine