The Column Hall was designed by the architect Christoph Haberland and built between 1778 and 1787 in the eastern wing second floor premises of the former Dom monastery. The Hall was meant for the City Library and is considered one of the remarkable Classicism public premises.
In the course of time the hall acquired the name of Column Hall for its balcony with a gallery rested on columns that were painted to imitate marble. The niches in the walls were furnished with bookcases. One of the walls was decorated with a mural painting, an allegory, dedicated to the annexation of Riga to Russia in 1710. Tsar Peter I was featured not only as the conqueror of the city, but also as a patron of arts and science. The moulding on the ceiling portrayed Russian Empress Catherine II as Minerva, the invincible Roman warrior and goddess of wisdom and science, with the monarch’s collection of laws in her hands.
For more than a hundred years the Hall served as a library, which was moved to the Town Hall in 1891, and the Hall was given at the disposal of the Dom parish and was used for the ceremony of confirmation. After the Second World War the Column Hall was transformed to display the exhibitions of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation. From 1984 till 2001 the Hall underwent artistic and architectonic investigation, restoration and repair.
The Column Hall holds the exhibition “Riga within the Russian Empire. 1710–mid-19th century”. At present, the Hall is used for exhibitions, various social events and as a chamber-style concert hall. The Hall is for rent for various occasions and parties.