At noon in Liepāja, a time capsule was embedded in the foundations of the new prison – which hopefully will not be stolen in the future by someone tunnelling out.
The construction of the prison is planned to be completed by September 2025. The prison will be constructed more than five kilometers from the center of Liepāja at Alsungas iela 29, a more remote location than the existing prison, which is close to the city center.
In addition, the new prison will be significantly larger with space for up to 1,200 prisoners at a time in six different buildings. The total area of the territory is 305,116 square meters, and the total area of the premises is approximately 37,400 square meters. The prison construction costs are expected to be almost 126 million euros.
Officials from both Liepāja city and state institutions gathered to lay the tie capsule in the foundations of the new Liepāja prison building complex at noon.
The ultimate fate of the existing red brick prison, designed by renowned local architect Paul Max Bertschy remains undecided. The Justice Ministry has offered the building to the municipality, but the municipality has not come up with any plan for its future use. Therefore, it is likely that the historical Liepāja prison will be sold at auction.
Political prisoners were once imprisoned in the historical prison building. For some time, writer Rainis was an inmate, as was Miķelis Valters, Latvia's first Minister of the Interior.
There are currently nine prisons in Latvia and six of them are more than 100 years old.