Roland Statue, Riga
The statue of Roland is located in front the House of Blackheads in the Town Square. It was erected in 1896 in honor of Charlemagne's nephew, Roland and to symbolize of free medieval cities of the Hanseatic League. Again like the House of Blackheads the statue is a copy of the original.
Located in the square in Riga, was a statue of Roland. I had seen these in Germany, and didn't realize I would also find them in Latvia.
Roland, is a statue of a knight with a sword, and is considered a symbol of the town charter.
Roland statues are often found by town halls and market places, exactly where I found this one!
The statue is an imposing 6.3 metres tall of Roland, [who is the nephew of Charlemagne.] This statue has a nice back-drop of historical buildings, and its front faced the City Rathaus. Interestingly, Roland's sword was the point from which different distances in Riga and Latvia were counted.
As I know, such Roland statues are in a few North Germany towns too, so it is influence of German culture in Riga, as much other places too. The statue was destroyed many times, but now it is rebuilt again.
Roland statue is the symbol of justice and freedom. This place, in my opinion, is one of these where visitors like to take photos very much.
On Ratslaukums (Town Hall Square) stands the Statue of Roland. Roland was a medieval knight who thought the Arabs, and he was popular, especially in German towns, during the Middle Ages.
The statue was first erected in 1897. It wasn’t destroyed during WWII as a lot of buildings in Old Town, but the Soviet authorities tore down the statue in 1945. In 1999 a copy of the original statue was erected at the same spot.
Distances in Riga ,and from Riga to other places in Latvia, used to be counted from Roland’s sword.
A Roland statue is something typical to be found in many old cities in Germany, central Europe and the Baltic States. This statue, depicting a kight with his sword, is seen as a symbol of medieval city rights and independence. The most famous one, standing in Riga’s sister city Bremen, was declared a world cultural heritage site by the UNESCO. Riga’s Roland is a little younger than Bremens and also a little smaller.
Wilhelm Neumann designed the statue of Roland (Roland is the nephew of Charlemagne). The statue is 6.3-meters tall, and it was dedicated on the 11th of December 1896. The statue faced the city Rathaus (Town Hall) and was traditional in style. Roland's sword was the point from which different distances in Riga and Latvia were counted.
The monument survived World War II, but in 1945 the Soviet authorities ordered that the sculpture should be torn down and its base should be destroyed. The sculpture was damaged in the fall but is still exhibited at St. Peter’s church. The style of the work is similar to the early Renaissance German master Peter Visher Senior. On the 9th of December 1999, a new base was made, and the Roland statue was exhibited. In May in the year 2000 a copy of the whole statue by Edvins Krumins was placed on the base.