From the Riga Castle to the City Walls you should go through Maza Pils Street where you can see one of the famous Riga sights – the Three Brothers. The first house was built in 15 century, the second one – in 16 century, and the third one – in 18 century.
The Three Brothers reflect the evolution of the architecture of the Old Riga, which is, however, very similar to that of the cities of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. You could see the same evolution of buildings in Amsterdam, in Ghent and in many other cities of Northern Europe. The buildings had small facades as the estate tax was imposed based on the size of facade in Northern Europe.
The oldest white house was built in 1490 and has a characteristic recessive front performed in the Gothic style. This was the house of a stonecutter Shrader. In some guides you could read that it is the oldest surviving building in Riga, but it may not be so. Of course, there are much older churches, such as the St. Peter`s Church of 1209 and the Dome Cathedral of 1211 in Riga, but it is still the oldest residential building.
The middle of the Three Brothers was built in 1646. At least, this date is inscribed on the front of the house. This house is more spacious even though it has the same layout: residential area and workshop were on the ground floor, private chambers (bedrooms) – on the first floor and storage – in the attic.
The younger of the Three Brothers was erected in 18 century, but there is no exact information about the building as, unlike the other two buildings, it suffered significant rebuilds and restorations. Today the Three Brothers house the Architecture Museum.