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:
Dunluce Castle is a ruined medieval castle located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim, and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side, which may have been an important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood.
In the 13th century, Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, built the first castle at Dunluce. The earliest features of the castle are two large drum towers about 9 metres in diameter on the eastern side, both relics of a stronghold built here by the McQuillans after they became lords of the Route.
The McQuillans were the Lords of Route from the late 13th century until they were displaced by the MacDonnell after losing two major battles against them during the mid- and late-16th century.
Later Dunluce Castle became the home of the chief of the Clan MacDonnell of Antrim and the Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg from Scotland.
In 1588 the Girona, a galleass from the Spanish Armada, was wrecked in a storm on the rocks nearby. The cannons from the ship were installed in the gatehouses and the rest of the cargo sold, the funds being used to restore the castle.
Dunluce Castle served as the seat of the Earl of Antrim until the impoverishment of the MacDonnells in 1690, following the Battle of the Boyne. Since that time, the castle has deteriorated and parts were scavenged to serve as materials for nearby buildings.