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Freedom Monument (Riga)

Freedom Monument (Riga)

 

 

 

cnr of Brīvības iela and Raiņa bulvāris
Change of Guards: 9am- 6pm daily, every hour

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom Monument (Riga)Riga's Freedom Monument is a large complex dedicated to Latvian National pride and independence. It was constructed in 1930's during brief period of independence under supervision of sculptor Karlis Zale. It was build to honor lives of soldiers who were killed during Latvian War of Independence in 1918- 20. Freedom Monument measures 19 metres (62 feet) high topped by a bronze female figure representing Liberty. She holds three golden stars that stand for three Latvian regions: Kurzeme, Largale and Vidzeme. It also has an inscription Tēvzemei un Brīvībai that is translated "For Fatherland and Freedom" in Latvian.

During Soviet Period Latvians tried to honor their fallen heroes despite possibility of being arrested and even shipped to Siberia for "nationalism". Nevertheless the Soviet authority didn't dare to remove the symbol of country's pride. Instead they added a statues of Vladimir Lenin (founder of USSR) across the square. Freedom Monument became a strong symbol of Latvian independence in the late 1980's starting with 14 June 1987 when over 5000 Latvians gathered in this part of Old Town of Riga to commemorate those who has fallen for independence. As the movement grew more people gathered to celebrate their national pride. On the night of August 20th, 1991 as the Soviet Union was falling apart crowds removed a statue of Lenin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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