Freedom Monument


While it is not the largest monument in Riga (the Soviet Victory Monument takes that honour, by a long shot), the modernist Freedom Monument, dominating the view as you head east along Brivibas iela from the Old City, is certainly the peoples’ favourite. Continue reading “Freedom Monument”

Soviet Victory Monument


The imposing Soviet Victory Monument or to give it its full name, the “Monument to the Liberators of Soviet Latvia and Riga from the German Fascist Invaders” is a late, though still fairly classic, example of Soviet Brutalist architecture, located in Victory Park on the left side of the Daugava River. Continue reading “Soviet Victory Monument”

From Soviet Union to European Union


In 1991 Latvia shook off the shackles of the Soviet Union, ending 51 years of forced occupation and rule of the country by Nazi Germany (1941-44) and the Soviet Union (1940-41 and 1944 -1991).

In 2003 the people of Latvia (or 73% of them) turned out at polling stations to take part in a referendum on joining the European Union. Opponents of membership argued that Latvia should not give up the sovereignty it had so recently gained from the Soviet Union while supporters, among other arguments, put forward to view that membership would actually protect Latvia from any future Russian pressure. Continue reading “From Soviet Union to European Union”