President Levits opens garden building and tree trail

Latvian President Egils Levits participated in the opening of a new Meeting House at the Likteņdārzs garden on the banks of the River Daugava August 18.

Likteņdarzs (Destiny Garden) is a longstanding project to build a landscaped garden near the town of Koknese, around 100 km south-east of Rīga. It is run by the 'Koknese Foundation' and funded from public donations. According to the garden's website it aims to be "a symbol of the nation's constant renewal and growth created in nature."

The Saieta Nams (Meeting House) forms part of the whole ensemble and is described by the project as "spatially shaped like a mountain or the beginning of a bridge, symbolically embodying the idea of ​​the Garden of Destiny - from the past to the future." More prosaically, it will be available to hire "for conferences, concerts or celebrations" and includes a cafe and souvenir shop.

Construction of the Saieta House at Likteņdārzs started in 2016 and it has cost more than 3 million euros.

President Levits also participated in the opening of trail formed by trees planted to mark former presidents. The first of the presidential trees was planted in 2008.

The trees form a 'Presidents' Trail' at the beginning of which there is a map, where all the planted trees are marked, as well as information about the institution of the President of Latvia. A plaque with the name and surname of the President and the period of the presidency is placed next to each planted tree. There is also a square code on the plate, which, when read with a smart device, the visitor will be able to read more information about the relevant President.

"The history of the nation is not material, it is immaterial. But the nation's history and historical memory needs its own place and space, where it can be brought to life and shown, where it can be taught to the new generations and our guests. Therefore, this Meeting House also has a symbolic meaning, it is a place to bring to life our tragic, but at the same time, heroic history and national memory of the 20th century," said Levits in his address.

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