Freedom Monument, Riga

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  • Freedom Monument
    by Hiiemae
  • Oskar with the Freedom Monument, Riga
    Oskar with the Freedom Monument, Riga
    by antistar
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    Signage
    by gordonilla
  • antistar's Profile Photo

    New Town: Freedom Monument

    by antistar Updated Nov 27, 2013

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    Probably the most amazing thing about the Freedom Monument is that it exists at all. Unveiled in 1935 to commemorate the Latvian soldiers who died in the Latvian War of Independence, independence that is from the Soviets. When those same Soviets came back after World War 2, they didn't destroy it. It was scheduled for demolition, but for some reason this never happened. The Soviets did, however, turn the whole area around the monument into a no-go zone.

    The monument remains the most revered structure in Latvia, and is protected by a Guard of Honour, and you can witness the changing of the guard every hour between 9am and 6pm.

    Unfortunately there are no guards on duty at night, so when my fellow countrymen come along to take a picture of themselves urinating on the monument, they aren't always arrested before they post their crime on the Internet. The Mayor of Riga hit out at the "English pigs" who visited the city on stag nights with the sole intention of getting blind drunk. It's even alleged that some "tours" involve urinating on the monument as a step in the evening pub crawl.

    It's not surprising that the British are viewed as the worst tourists in Europe.

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  • fachd's Profile Photo

    Symbolic Of Freedom

    by fachd Written Sep 19, 2012

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    The Monument of Freedom was built during 1931-35, designed by Latvian sculptor Karlis Zale and the finance came from donations by the people. It was built as a symbolic of freedom and independence of Latvian from oppressor. The 42 meters high monument with Milda the women holding the three stars can be seen fare way. The three stars representing the three regions of Latvia (Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale). The monument is guarded by two guard of honor who change at every hour between 9am to 6pm.

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  • Hiiemae's Profile Photo

    Brīvības piemineklis - Freedom Monument

    by Hiiemae Written Mar 18, 2012

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    Everyone who goes to Riga has to visit Freedom Monument. It has a very beautiful meaning - symbol of the freedom, independence, and sovereignty of Latvia.

    42 meters! Opened in 1935 years.

    Every day, each hour between 9:00 and 18:00 there comes guard of honor. The guard of honor was present from the unveiling of the monument until 1940, when it was removed shortly after the occupation of Latvia. It was renewed on November 11, 1992. The guards are soldiers of The Company of Guard of Honor of the Headquarters Battalion of the National Armed Forces (Latvian: Nacionālo Bruņoto spēku Štāba bataljona Goda sardzes rota).
    The guard is not required to be on duty in bad weather conditions and if the temperatures are below −10 °C (14 °F) or above 25 °C (77 °F). The guards work in two weekly shifts, with three or four pairs of guards taking over from each other hourly in a ceremony commanded by the chief of the guard. Besides them there also are two watchmen in each shift, who look out for the safety of the guards of honor.

    The view is nice :) Soldiers must be tall - 1,82 and healthy, because need to stand without moving 30 minutes.

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    FREEDOM MONUMENT

    by balhannah Updated Feb 18, 2012

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    The Freedom Monument is a symbol of freedom, sovereignty and an independent Latvia.
    The Monument honours soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence (1918–1920).

    This impressive monument was built between 1931-1935 by private donations. The design was chosen through a competition, with the first one being a draw, so back to the drawing boards, and a winning design named "Shine like a Star" was chosen. The Freedom Monument was then built to this design, and it stands in the centre of Riga. On the top, is a copper "Statue of Liberty," holding three stars which are symbols of historical areas of Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Latgale in Latvia.

    Following Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940, the Freedom Monument was considered for demolition, but luckily, it did not happen.
    Soviet propaganda attempted to alter the symbolic meaning of the monument to better fit with Communist ideology, but it remained a symbol of national independence to the general public.

    Sculptures and bas-reliefs of the monument, depict Latvian culture and history.
    The round niches in its corners, each contain a sculptural group of three figures. On the front of the monument, is a fisherman, a craftsman and a farmer, who stands in the middle holding a scythe decorated with oak leaves and acorns to symbolize strength and manhood and "Guards of the Fatherland" depicting an ancient Latvian warrior standing between two kneeling modern soldiers.

    On the back of the monument are another two sculptural groups: "Family,' a mother standing between her two children and "Scholars"
    Other sculptural groups are "Bear-Slayer," a Latvian folk hero, "Vaidelotis," a Baltic pagan priest and "Chain breakers, "three chained men trying to break free from their chains.

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  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    Monument of Freedom

    by gordonilla Written Sep 18, 2011

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    Located in the city centre, this seems to be a focal point for the nation from time to time. It is surrounded by parkland and was being well tended to by cleaners who were sweeping the streets.

    The monument was unveiled on 18 November 1935.

    The monument commemorates the fallen for the Latvian War of Independence (1918-1920)

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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    Monument for Freedom

    by Raimix Updated Feb 25, 2011

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    Soldiers near monument

    Really big monument, somehow looking like central monument in Vigeland park, Oslo. Designed by Latvian architect Karlis Zale and constructed in 1935. This object is in the centre of Riga, near National Opera, Livu square. It is written "Tevzemei un brivibai" that means "for motherland and freedom", the street is named Brivibas too - Freedom avenue.

    On the top of monument - a woman holding her hands with the stars to the sky. Soldiers stand near and they change every hour, so it is interesting to see ceremony.

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  • georeiser's Profile Photo

    The Freedom Monument

    by georeiser Written Dec 29, 2009

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    The Freedom Monument is 40 meter high and was built in 1935 by the unknown Karlis Zale. The monument is an important symbol of Latvian independence, and has two guards of honour standing beside it from 9 AM to 6 PM. The top of the monument has a bronze statue of a woman holding up three stars. The stars represents the regions of Latvia.

    During the Soviet occupation it was forbidden to put flowers at the monument and to have gathering of people near it. It was here the first public protest against Soviet were held in 1987.

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  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    The Freedom monument

    by sourbugger Written Jan 24, 2009

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    freedom monumet

    The Freedom monument was unveiled in 1935, as a commemoration of those who had died in the Latvian war of independence in the previous decade. It was a short lived affair as latvia became part of the Soviet empire during WWII and following it as well up to the break-up of the Union and the re-gaining of independence. Although the soviets contemplated knocking it down, and despite some half-hearted attempts at 'communising' the monument it basically remained in tact. The quality of the scuplture and reliefs around the base which reflect Latvian history and folklaw reflect this.

    The guard of honour provided by the army stand perfectly still outside for half and hour at a time. They are excused this duty if the temperature is below minus 10 or above 25 degree. What a bunch of woosies (I didn't say that by the way, my mate did !)

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  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    Freedom Monument

    by MalenaN Written Dec 29, 2008

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    The Freedom Monument was built in 1935, during the Latvian independence era. The construction of the monument was mainly financed by public donations. It is over 35 metres tall and on top of the grey granite column stands a bronze statue of Liberty. She is holding up three stars, which represents three regions of Latvia.
    It was forbidden to put flowers at the monument , or to have big gatherings of people near it, during the Soviet occupation. But it was here the first public protest against Soviet were held in 1987.

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  • gugi66's Profile Photo

    Freedom Statue

    by gugi66 Written Sep 22, 2008

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    Rigas most wiseted monument. A beautiful statue that rises in the begining of old town. There is also two guards that stands there and guard the statue. See my video of the statue there is also gards that walks forward and back.

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  • Acirfa's Profile Photo

    Freedom Monument

    by Acirfa Updated May 1, 2008

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    The monument is a symbol of Latvian unity and sovereignty.

    It was built as a memorial to honour soldiers killed in action during the Latvian War of Independence. Milda (the lady on the top) holds a 3 stars each of which represent the three regions of Latvia, Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale.

    It is now one of the most important national symbols of Latvia. The monument is featured on the proposed Latvian 2 Euro coin.

    The Guard of honour is changed hourly and remain in position from 9:00hrs til 20:00hrs each day.

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  • kit_mc's Profile Photo

    Freedom Monument, Riga

    by kit_mc Updated Dec 15, 2007

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    Close to the Opera House and the Laima Clock, the Freedom Monument [apparently also known as 'Milda' by locals] stands over 40 metres tall on the bridge between Old and New Riga. Built during the first independence era in 1935, and paid for by public subscription the monument is a symbol of Latvian independence and a memorial to the soldiers who died in the War of Independence.

    Its symbolism has been tweaked over the years, as the Soviets attempted to use the 'Statue of Liberty' at the top as a symbol of Mother Russia, holding aloft the three newly Sovietised Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. In 1987 it again become the focus for Latvian nationalism when a demonstration in the early days of the renewed independence movement took place there. In more recent years it has become a focus for right wing groups. It remains an unmissable symbol of the fierce identity of this small nation.

    Flowers are still left at the base of the monument, although such an act was banned during the Soviet years. In fact the monument was under threat by demolition in the 60's. The Guard of Honour has been reinstated and stand still, staring straight ahead most days except in especially cold or inclement weather. There are also soldiers to the side, guarding the guards, so be please respectful.

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  • tini58de's Profile Photo

    Brivibas monument

    by tini58de Written Oct 20, 2007

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    The Freedom Monument was unveiled in 1935 and is a national shrine for Latvians. The monument was designed by Kārlis Zāle. Our guide told us that back then Latvians donated money to have it erected - it was their national pride! The frieze around the base of the column show Latvians singing, working and fighting for their freedom, while the three stars in the maiden's hands represent the three historical regions of the country: Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale. You will always find flowers at the base of the monument. The guard of honor changes every hour on the hour from 09:00 - 18:00.

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  • Vanity666's Profile Photo

    The Monument of Freedom

    by Vanity666 Written Aug 7, 2007

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    The Monument of Freedom was built during 1931-35 under design of a well-known Latvian sculptor Karlis Zale and an architect E. J. Stahlbergs.
    The foot of the Monument is decorated with 13 allegoric epic and historical statuaries, depicting images of labour, defenders of Motherland, family and culture.
    The top is mounted with the figure of Milda – a woman, who embodies freedom. Milda holds three stars aloft, which symbolise the unity of three historically developed regions of Latvia – Vidzeme, Kurzeme and Latgale. An inscription – To Motherland and Freedom – is engraved at the foot of the Monument.

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  • ealgisi's Profile Photo

    Freedom Monument

    by ealgisi Written Jul 4, 2007

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    Designed by the famous Latvian architect Kârlis Zâle and constructed in 1935. The bronze casting of a woman (fondly nick-named "Milda" by the Latvian folk) holds up three golden stars in her hands, which symbolise three Latvian regions: Latgale, Kurzeme and Vidzeme. The guard of honour stands sentinel at the monument from 09.00 until 20.00.

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