Museums in Riga
National History Museum of Lativa - Dauderi
The Dauderi museum is located inside a 19th century house, in the Sarkandaugava neighbourhood of Riga. Visitors can see various artifacts and general information about Latvia between 1918 and 1940. There is also a permanent exhibition, called ‘Two Days in the life of Kārlis Ulmanis’ that details his life as a 5 time Prime Minister during this time period.
National History Museum of Latvia - Popular Front
After several decades of Soviet rule, the idea of a independent Latvia began to gain momentum. As a result, many political organisations joined a coalition, called the Popular Front (Tauntas Frontes in Latvian). Within a few years their membership grew to over 250,000 and kept growing as more people became pro-independence. After the Supreme Soviet elections on March 18, 1990, the Popular Front obtained 2/3 of the seats required to amend the Latvian Constitution. This led to Latvia regaining their independence. The museum is located at what used to be the Popular Front’s headquarters and is staged as it would have been during this time period.
Museum ‘Jews in Latvia’
The building was originally used as a Jewish club, events venue, library and theatre, however during the occupations, the Nazis used it as a German Officer’s Club and the Soviets used it as an educational centre. After the fall of the Soviet Union the building was given back to the Jewish community and turned into a museum by Holocaust survivors. Today, the museum showcases Latvian Jewish history from the 16th century to World War II.
1991 Barricades Museum
A series of Barricades took place in Riga when Latvia declared their independence from the Soviet Union. There was anticipation that the Soviet goverment would attempt to regain control of the country as several confrontations with the Society OMON had taken place in January 1991. The barricades were created to prevent this. Visitors can view material relating to this time period at the museum.
Art Museum Riga Bourse
This museum is dedicated to international works of art. Visitors can view several permanent displays, such as: the Oriental Gallery, the Painting Gallery featuring Western European Art between the 16th to 19th century, and the Western Gallery with 18 – 20th century Western European collection. The museum also displays temporary exhibits throughout the year.
Museum of Decorative Arts & Design
The museum features 7 different types of art collections: textile, ceramics, metal, leather, wood, glass, and a design collection from the late 19th century to present day. The museum also holds temporary exhibitions that feature different types of decorative and design art. The museums mission is to get the public interested in this type of art, craftsmanship, and design, as well as create closer links between the consumer and creator.
Arsenals Exhibition Hall
This art museum showcases various pieces of art from the late 20th century to present day. Visitors can experience various exhibitions of conceptional art, along with international projects.
Latvian Museum of Natural History
This is the largest natural history and sciences museum in the Baltic States. There are several activities at the museum to entertain visitors of all ages, such as: interactive displays, excursions, information and educational activities, and discussions on the latest nature issues. A collection of 194,000 geological, entomological, palaeontological, zoological, botanical and anthropological artifacts can be viewed at the museum. Visitors can see the systematic plant herbarium of Latvia, mineral and rocks collections, 2 billion year old algae fossils, 10,000 year old wooly mammoth, various insects, and various bird species native to Latvia.
Latvian Railway History Museum
The Latvian Railway History Museum was founded in 1994 with the purpose of preserving the history of railways and offering an insight into how they operate. Adults and children can learn about the Latvian Railways as there are thousands of items on display, including documents and photographs, signalling equipment, various tools and instruments used on the railway, along with uniforms and badges worn by Railway employees.
Latvian Fire Fighting Museum
Visitors of the museum are taken through the history of fire fighting in Latvia from when it first developed to present day. Items such as, helmets, tools, uniforms, hoses, pumps, the fire vehicle ‘Chevrolet Six’, among other artifacts are on display.
The pharmacy museum focuses are the development of pharmaceuticals in Latvia over the last century. Visitors can see tools and devices used for drug preparation and a vast number of artifacts. Visitors can also see various exhibitions, including the History of the Development of Pharmacy in Latvia, Pharmacy Sectors, Pharmaceutical Vessels, 21st Century Medications made in Latvia, and the Traditional Medicine and Pharmacy – Laboratory in 18th & 19th Centuries.
Latvian Museum of Photography
The Latvian museum of photography is a division of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation. The museum is located in a 16th century merchant building and consists of various permanent and temporary exhibitions dipicting photography in Latvia. There are roughly 30,000 artifacts, including various cameras, photo negatives, various pieces of equipment, albums, and photos. Visitors can also see daguerreotypes, panoramic photos from the 1920’s, stereo photographs, postcards, and portraits of famous people.
The property is named after the Mentzendorff’s, who were local merchants and the last family to live there. The house is staged to look like a typical home of wealthy Rigans during the 17th – 18th century. Visitors can view the original wall and ceiling paintings, a shop room, kitchen, saloon, dancing hall, ‘Poet’s room, family chapel, vaults in the cellar, and an attic exhibition hall. The attic exhibition hall changes on a monthly basis.
Andrejs Upīts Memorial Apartment & Museum
Andrejs Upīts was a famous writer from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century. He was well known for his novels, stories, poetry, dramas, journalism, and literary criticism. The museum has three rooms for visitors to view – the study, guest room and dining room, and an exhibition hall. The apartment gives visitors insight into Andrejs Upīts life.