Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum, Riga

4.5
Learn about the lives of ancient farmers and fishermen at Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum. The museum features 118 buildings--including village houses, ancient bathhouses, and buildings representing different crafts--as well as 114,000 items. You can do everything from taste the traditional food to forge your own jewelry. The site provides a nice chance to explore rural life characteristic of the 17th through mid-20th centuries. To visit Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum on your trip to Riga, use our Riga trip planner .
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Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum Reviews
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4.6
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  • Located about 1/2 hour outside Riga. Started in 1924 and covers 213 acres of forest land. Over 100 buildings from Latvia's different regions were transported here to preserve examples of rural life. O...  more »
  • If you've watched the old town and have enjoyed here, is to visit open air museum of Riga advisable.
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  • Beautiful in the winter! But make sure you have eaten in advance! The closest to eat was 1.5 km away (McDo). Sure step on the correct bus stop ' Brivebas '. And trust so not on Google Maps;-). You get hit there smoothly from the Centre of Riga with bus 1.
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  • Really enjoyed our visit here. Came with a school group and the tour guide was very knowledgeable and good with the kids. Interesting old building and looked amazing in the snow. Lovely walking through the place and even standing on the frozen lake.
  • A unique museum and would recommend visiting to understand and see the difference in how people used to live. Feel there could be more information explaining the exhibits though, a brief summary is all you get really.
  • Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum(Latvian: Latvijas Etnogrāfiskais brīvdabas muzejs) is an open-air museum located just outside Riga, the capital of Latvia, on the lightly wooded shores of Juglas Lake. Quick facts: Established, Location … Latvian postage stamp issued 1994 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the museum. History In 1924, the Latvian Council of Monuments signed an order to create the open-air museum in Riga. The idea for the new museum was inspired by open-air museums in Scandinavia, particularly Skansen in Stockholm. The plan was to relocate a homestead from all four regions of Latvia – Courland, Zemgale, Vidzeme and Latgale – to the museum. Each of the buildings would represent the different crafts of each area. The new museum acquired land from a state land fund in the sandy dunes near Juglas Lake, just outside the city. In 1928, the first building, a barn from Vestiena parish was relocated and rebuilt in the museum. In 1932, the museum was opened to the public with six buildings (Vidzeme homestead). In 1939, there were already 40 buildings erected in the museum. Every region had its homestead and several other buildings of architectural or cultural value represented here. In the 1930s the museum became a very popular place and the community actively participated in the development of the museum. Several buildings were relocated and rebuilt, funded by private donations. During the Second World War (World War II), the museum remained mostly undamaged, but most of its pre-war personnel were unavailable after having been repressed or forced into exile. Many documents were also lost during this period. After the war, the new Soviet power didn't understand the nature of the museum and even declared it ideologically incorrect. Only in the late 1960s did the museum see a renaissance, when a new generation of museum specialists started to work in the museum. As communication with other countries was improved, the territory of the museum was expanded and many new and high-value objects were placed into the museum.
  • Peaceful and charming reconstructed wooden village within the woods next to the ever calm Jugla lake. If you are traveling by bus, plan ahead before you exit the museum!
  • Really neat museum of old buildings from around the country reassembled here. Nice trails in between. Great for a walk or hike or museum visit.
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