Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation is housed by the Riga Dom Cathedral ensemble in the heart of the Old Riga, Latvia. It originated in 1773 as a private collection of Nikolaus von Himsel, a Riga doctor and, being one of the oldest museums in Europe, over the centuries it has grown into the largest collection of material evidence of the history of Riga.The PremisesDuring the reconstruction of the Riga Dom Cathedral in the 1890s, part of the former monastery was converted to serve the needs of the Dom Museum. It is the first building in the history of Riga to have been built for a museum, and the inscription on the museum front bears testimony to this. Within the premises there is the Column Hall, built in 1778 in the Classicism style, which housed the library until 1891. The hall is now being used for conferences and a historical 18th—19th centuries exhibition. The Column Hall faces the 13th century groin vaulted gallery and the Riga Dom Cathedral yard, a remarkable Romanesque and Gothic monument of the kind in the Baltic states. The Riga Dom Cathedral ensemble itself is an aesthetic treat that provides information about different periods in the construction of Riga.