The Latvian Occupation Museum of Riga offers visitors the chance to discover what happened between 1940 and 1991.
The Occupation Museum which has been in place since 1993 and is housed in an old Soviet Museum building, formerly the Museum of the Latvian Red Riflemen was built in 1971 to celebrate Lenin’s 100th birthday, has become one of the most visited attractions in Riga.
You will find countless amounts of documentation, information and artifacts as well as knowledgeable guides on the subject of occupation available to conduct tours . It covers not only Soviet occupation but also Nazi occupation and has modern displays with a clear and thought out layout. You will see how the Soviets arrived in 1940, how the Nazis arrived in 1941 and how the Soviets returned in 1944, staying permanently until 1991.
The museum is always making new exhibits, modernizing and developing, so it is great for return visits as well. You will also find the contacts needed if you require further information on specific subject matter. If you wish to know a little bit more about how Latvia came into being as a country back in 1918, then you can also make a visit to the War Museum, which has a great exhibit on the 1918 – 1920 War of Independence.
From our experience most visitors to Riga are sympathetic to the past and have at least a basic understanding of Soviet occupation across Europe. For these people the Museum of Occupation provides the chance to learn more about this specific area within the Baltics. We recommend that all people who have chosen to visit Riga will take the time and opportunity to pass through the museum. Of course not all visitors to Riga, arrive thinking that the Soviet Union occupied the Latvian territory and for these visitors the museum offers an alternative version to the history that they may be familiar with. In this day and age we must our learn to look at the past objectively and to move forward in a positive and peaceful manner.
The Museum of Occupation can be found in Rātslaukums (The Town Hall Square) you cannot miss it, its the house that looks like a square grenade! Opening times and exhibition info can be found HERE at their website, entrance at the time I write this is free and donations are gratefully welcomed.