Literary matriarch’s summer house museum opened

The fully-restored 1930s vacation home of Aspazija (Elza Rozenberga), Latvia’s beloved poet of the national awakening and first independent republic opened to the public this month in the Jurmala town of Dubulti, reported LSM.

The opening was marked with a special ceremony on October 3, the name day for Elza, while the general public was allowed in starting on Saturday, October 4.

Aspazija, though known also as the wife of poet and national figure Rainis (Janis Plieksans), was a widow by the time she bought the quaint summer residence in 1933.

The esteemed writer of plays, poems and essays regularly entertained the cream of Latvia’s artistic circles there. She lived her final years in the house and wished for it to ever remain a meeting-place for creative personalities of the intelligentsia.

The €1.2m reconstruction project took almost two years to complete before the building was approved for use at the end of September.

The magnificent example of wooden architecture has now gotten its colorful façade back, more space inside for exhibits to look as authentic as possible according to the details of Aspazija’s time. The restored exhibits include a large dining room, study and guest salon with much of the original furnishings and artifacts intact from among Aspazija’s own belongings.

The house, built in 1903, was recovered from the ownership of former Soviet-era residents by the local government in Jurmala almost 20 years ago.

A virtual tour, or digitalization project for the Aspazija’s house museum exhibits is also underway and scheduled for completion by spring of 2015. Until then, visitors are invited to come by in person, but need to note that the museum is only open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm. Admission is free-of-charge.

 

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