Museum of the Occupation of Latvia

Riga, Latvia

Museum of the Occupation of Latvia 1940-1991 (Latvijas okupācijas muzejs) is an historic educational institution. It was established in 1993 to exhibit artifacts, archive documents, and educate the public about the 51-year period in the 20th century when Latvia was successively occupied by the USSR in 1940, then by Nazi Germany in 1941, and then again by the USSR in 1944.

The museum's stated mission is to show what happened in Latvia, its land and people under two occupying totalitarian regimes from 1940 to 1991, remind the world of the crimes committed by foreign powers against the state and people of Latvia and remember the victims of the occupation: those who perished, were persecuted, forcefully deported or fled the terror of the occupation regimes.

The building of the museum was built already in 1971 to celebrate Lenin's 100th birthday and up until 1991 it served as the Museum of Red Latvian Riflemen.

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Address

Svaru iela 7, Riga, Latvia
See all sites in Riga

Details

Founded: 1971
Category: Museums in Latvia
Historical period: Soviet Era (Latvia)

More Information

www.omf.lv
en.wikipedia.org

Rating

3.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Helle Damgaard Andersen (6 months ago)
Temporarily closed until 2020. Other exhibition near freedom monument
Jørgen Jakob Friis (7 months ago)
Kind of temporary while rebuilding the real one so some details are missing. Interestingly presented though
Stefan Andrushenko (7 months ago)
Excellent, well translated and thorough. By donation. Note temporary location near freedom monument for next couple years.
Andrew Betts (9 months ago)
Informative and interesting, though currently it is not in this location. It will move back here in 2020 after the building had been renovated. Meanwhile it is located just west of the freedom monument.
Shona C (9 months ago)
This museum is very easy to get to, and is less than one minute away from the Freedom Monument. It is free but requests donations as payments. Information on the boards is very comprehensive and is in Latvian and English with Russian and German information booklets available. You should definitely try to make your way to this museum if you're in Riga. It will probably only take you around an hour and is definitely worth it.
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The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

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In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

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