Three for the Weekend: Latvian vibes

Take note – story published 2 years and 7 months ago

Mid-November in Latvia is always the time of freedom celebration, starting on Lāčplēsis Day November 11 and ending with Independence Proclamation Day on November 18. Here are some ideas to enhance or test your knowledge on the history surrounding these events.

Blizzard of Souls

The box-office record-breaker historical drama Dvēseļu putenis (Blizzard of Souls) aired on Latvian Television Thursday evening and will be available for a week online. If you still haven't seen it or wish to rewatch it, this is your chance.

Historical walk

LSM's Latvian language service and the historian Kārlis Sils have designed a route through places on the left bank of the Daugava where decisive events on November 10 and 11, 1919, took place, fighting the Bermondt troops. 

The route leads through these places:

  1. Šampēteris manor (approximate location: current Liegu Street). The manor does not exist anymore, but it was a spot from which the Bermondt army controlled two of the main streets of Pārdaugava, Kalnciema and Kandavas Street.
  2. Zasulauks train station. The Rīga infantry regiment No. 6 was tasked to walk from Nordeķi station (no longer existing) to Zasulauks station and push the Bermondt army back toward the Daugava.
  3. Rīga City Hospital no.2. (nowadays the Stradiņš Hospital, Pilsoņu Street 13). November 10 evening a shooting occurs, the Latvian army winning the hospital back.
  4. Dzegužkalns (Dzegužu Street 11). Dzegužkalns was one of the most important strategic locations since it was the highest point in Rīga, providing a view to the Old Town and the Rīga port to aim the artillery.
  5. Mārtiņš Cemetery (Hāmaņa Street 4). Mārtiņš Church and cemetery was the only path of retreat left for the Bermondt army, which they lost late November 10 at night.
  6. Uzvaras Square (now Uzvaras Park), where fights continued early morning of November 11.
  7. Railway bridge over the Daugava, which the Rīga cadet school students marched across November 11 to find the remaining Bermondt troops in Pārdaugava.
  8. Torņakalns church (Torņakalna Street 5). Latvian army declared victory and rang church bells across Rīga, including at the Torņakalns church which had just been reclaimed.

The points are displayed in the historical map below (from the archives of the Latvian National Library):

Source: Latvian National Library


To refresh your knowledge about Lāčplēsis Day and the surrounding events, we offer a quiz if you haven't managed to check it out yet. Take the quiz at our other story.




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