The Freedom Monument

Riga, Latvia

The Freedom Monument if a symbol of independent Latvia. From the moment Latvia acquires its independence a search for a suitable artistic solution started and donations were gathered. The monument was built in 1931-35, its author was a well-known latvian architect Karlis Zale. The statue of Liberty (sculpturer R. Mirsmeden) holds three stars - the symbols of historical areas in Latvia: Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Latgale.

The pedestal is surrounded by sculptural compositions "Buards of Fatherland", "Mother Latvia", "Labour and Family" and others. The monument is turned to the West - the Liberty sculpture looks that way, proud sculptures of other compositions look the same way. Figures in chains, bent in a bow look the other way - to the East.

It is interesting to know that the symbol of independence of Latvia managed to survive the soviet times. According to the legend, Stalin planned to blow it up after the war but Vera Muhina, who was born in Riga and was a student of K. Zale, stood up for it. The monument, that was of a great artistic value, was not destroyed, but was indeed forgotten. Lenin's monument on the other side of the boulevard was built standing with its back to "Freedom" and its face to the East.

Naturally, during the "Perestroika" time, the Freedom Monument was the main place of meetings and piquets. In 1994 it was the place where Bill klinton supported the independent Baltic on behalf of America. The monument is also populr for the well-known maches of the vererans of the Latvian legion of SS in the 90s, that ended with laying flowers at the pedestal. These marches were banned by authorities for different reasons.

In 2001 the monument was reconstructed. It now has a guard of honour, festivities take place here.

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

Brīvības iela, Riga, Latvia
See all sites in Riga

Details

Founded: 1931-1935
Category: Statues in Latvia
Historical period: The Independent Republic (Latvia)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Hussain Vhora (3 months ago)
This is one of the most amazing places in the centre of Riga city surrounded by Riga main town, parks, railway station and bus station etc. On 19th Nov which is the independence day of Latvia all the gatherings and events are happening around this monument. You can visit this place and grab a nice lunch/dinner/snacks in old Town nearby and relax later in the parks all are around and at a walking distance. I'm sure you'll like this place and do visit ?
Maureen Bes (4 months ago)
The Freedom monument honoring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence (1918–1920). It is considered an important symbol of the freedom, independence, and sovereignty of Latvia. Nice touristic site with the garden of latvia close by as well as old buildings from before the war. Two soldiers are always present at attention in front of the monument with a swap every 30 minutes depending on the weather, it is such a beautiful scenery to be at during change ?
Elizabeth Law-Evans (6 months ago)
What a magnificent monument to freedom! The people are proud of their heritage and proud of their freedom. It's gratifying and humbling to see such a public declaration of their commitment to freedom. Well done, Latvia. (Also the flowers in the gardens nearby have a heavenly scent when in bloom . . .)
david howells (7 months ago)
I like the Latvian and Baltic states sense of personal identity and proud that they are NATO allies. This monument reflects Latvian pride and I sense it is part of the beating heart of this proud nation.
sritama deb (10 months ago)
Right in the heart of the city. Beautifully decorated in the evening surrounded with lush green gardens. If you are in Riga, it’s impossible that you wouldn’t notice this ?
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls was part of the federal sanctuary of the three Gauls dedicated to the cult of Rome and Augustus celebrated by the 60 Gallic tribes when they gathered at Lugdunum (Lyon). The amphitheatre was built at the foot of the La Croix-Rousse hill at what was then the confluence of the Rhône and Saône.

Excavations have revealed a basement of three elliptical walls linked by cross-walls and a channel surrounding the oval central arena. The arena was slightly sloped, with the building"s south part supported by a now-vanished vault. The arena"s dimensions are 67,6m by 42m. This phase of the amphitheatre housed games which accompanied the imperial cult, with its low capacity (1,800 seats) being enough for delegations from the 60 Gallic tribes.

The amphitheatre was expanded at the start of the 2nd century. Two galleries were added around the old amphitheatre, raising its width from 25 metres to 105 metres and its capacity to about 20,000 seats. In so doing it made it a building open to the whole population of Lugdunum and its environs.