The Cats of Riga

Me: Why is there a  cat on everything?
Random local: I don’t know.
Me: Why is the cat the symbol of Riga?
Tourist Information Office chap: It’s not official. It’s something to do with a story…or something.
Me: Do know what the cat on this magnet symbolises?
Market vendor: *shrugs*

IMG_3719 (800x600)A word to the wise, Rigans – if the tourist is asking, the tourist doesn’t know. So make it up! There are cats everywhere. On magnets, in pub names, on graffiti, on postcards – everywhere. Surely someone must know why? And if not, is it beyond the realm of reason to suggest that someone could come up with a plausible story? It’s not like I’m not going to believe you. I do it all the time in Budapest when someone asks me what such and such a building is… I spin a yarn, their curiosity is sated, no one dies. It’s a perfect win.

IMG_3712 (800x589)It’s a scary world when I have to resort to Google over local lore to find an answer to what seems on the face of it to be a relatively simple question. Apparently back in the fourteenth century, an architect applied for membership of the Great Guild and was turned down. He was so upset that he put a black cat on the roof of his building with its backside facing the guild. The famous Black Cat of Riga, complete with arched back, symbolised said architect’s displeasure. Easy enough to remember eh? So why then did 100% of those I asked not know about it? Okay, admittedly, it was a small survey, but still! And by the way – said architect got his way in the end and turned the cat around.

IMG_4018 (800x600)

Share :

Share on twitter
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp

Subscribe to get notified when I publish something new.

  • Explore

    • Book reviews (36)
    • Catriona Loughrey (1)
    • Cemeteries (35)
    • Hungary (116)
    • Ireland (86)
    • Markets (23)
    • Uncategorised (37)
    • Village life (88)
  • 2 Responses

    1. Interesting………..there are similar cats on the roofs of the Edinburgh Old Town viewed from Princess Street………a delight, often wondered how someone maintains them, maybe they feed on pigeons!

    Talk to me...

    %d bloggers like this:

    By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information on cookies and GDPR

    Cookies and GDPR Compliance

    The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

    General Data Protection Regulation

    If you have voluntarily submitted your email address so that you can receive notifications of new posts, please be assured that I don't use your address for anything other than to do just that - and that's done automatically. I might use your address, if I knew how to, but I don't.

    This blog does not make money, it does not carry sponsored content, it has no ads for which I receive any form of payment. If I review a place or a restaurant or a book, I don't receive any compensation from anyone. I wish I did, but that would require marketing myself and life is too short. If something changes, I will be sure to let you know.

    You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe or manage subscription links at the bottom of every email you receive. When you comment on a blog post, Google Analytics tracks where you're posting from. This is stored and I can check my stats to see how many clicks I had today, where people clicked from, and what they clicked on. That's it. Nothing more.

    I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, particularly to other commenters. If you want to have one of your comments deleted, the please get in touch with me at: mary@irjjol.com. I'm all for the right to be forgotten so will happily oblige.

    So, in a nutshell, if you give me your email address voluntarily to subscribe to new posts or if you opt to subscribe to new comments, then you email is just used for this. Nothing else. Promise.

    Close