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Military Heritage in Kurzeme

 

During the Soviet era, Latvia was the western border of the USSR, and that made it a strategic location in which lots of military resources were concentrated. During the Soviet occupation, there were more than 1,000 Soviet military units in Latvia, and they controlled some 600 facilities equalling to more than 10% of the territory of the Latvian SSR. In other words, Latvia was behind the Iron Curtain for nearly half a century. Border guard posts, tank bases, aviation bases, military airfields, storage facilities for weapons and munitions (including nuclear missiles), military espionage facilities and other, similar entities were mostly centred on the shore of the Baltic Sea, where there was a special frontier regime. It was just 20 years ago that people were allowed to be on the beach only during sunlight and in very limited areas. Sand on the beach was always ploughed, and giant spotlights lit up the shoreline to seek out border regime violators who were more imagined than real. There were border guard towers all along the shore, with military personnel monitoring every step that local civilians took. Along the roads in the seaside regions, there were guard posts which one could pass only with special (and temporary) passes.

Several unique objects have survived since the Soviet era. For instance there is nothing similar to the Irbene radio telescope for several thousand kilometers. By contrast, the unique Skrunda radar station, alas, was blown up, and Soviet submarines were cut up into scrap.

(4 days, ~700 km)

This tour info is provided by rural tourism association "Lauku ceļotājs" | www.celotajs.lv

Included sights

  • The Museum of Christmas Battles at the "Mangaļi" farm is a branch of the War Museum of Latvia which displays an exhibition titled "...
    Jelgava district, Valgunde parish, Mangaļi
  • The restored bunker of national partisans at Īle, officially consecrated on 17 March 2009, is not only a tribute to national partisans but also a...
    Dobele district, Zebrene parish, LV-3731
  • In August 2008 a work by the sculptor Karlis Ile"- fountain "A drop of honey" was opened in the newly landscaped Ligo square of...
    Saldus district, Saldus, LV-3801
  • Zvārde natural reserve is a newly erected large protected area within the borders of Blīdene, Jaunauce and Zvārde districts. Zvārde natural reserve...
    Saldus district, Zvārde parish, Zvārde
  • Initially Embūte Nature Park was founded in 1977 as a complex nature reserve of the Embūte hilly landscape in the area of 232 ha. It is located in...
    Vaiņode district, Embūte parish, LV-3436
  • The Naval Port is the northern part of Liepaja, which was used as a military fleet vase of the Russian Empire in the late 19th century. Tourists...
    Invalīdu iela 4, Liepāja, Karosta, LV-3402
  • Liepāja Military Port – Karosta – occupies approximately one third of the total area of the city. It is a unique site not only in the...
  • The Northern Wavebreaker is 1800 m long and 7.35 m wide. The structure was built at the end of the 19th century. The Northern Wavebreaker protects...
    Liepāja, Karosta, LV-3401
  • The Northern Fort is an integral part of the Liepāja Fortress.
    Jātnieku iela, Karosta, Liepāja, LV-3401
  • Once a restricted territory, the promenade is now a place for pleasant strolls. The highest point, reached by a wooden walkway, overlooks the port...
    Vecā ostmala, Liepāja, LV-3401
  • RT32_antena
    The world’s eighth-largest radio telescope can be found in Kurzeme, not very far from the seaside between Kolka and Ventspils. Even today,...
    Ventspils district, Ance parish , Irbene, LV-3601
  • Once a restricted territory, the promenade is now a place for pleasant strolls. The highest point, reached by a wooden walkway, overlooks the port...
    Vecā ostmala, Liepāja, LV-3401
  • The spy game "Escaping from the U.S.S.R." offers the opportunity of active participation, to think independently, search, run, hide and...
    Ziemeļu forti, Liepāja, Karosta
  • The Walk displays 35 plaques with the casts of musicians’ palms in bronze. 10 plaques to existing and former music groups and 5 plaques to...
    Zivju iela, Liepāja
  • Established in 1999, however, the area has been protected already since 1957. Park area is 14 933 ha. The nature park has been created in Abava...
    Kandava district, Kandava, LV-3120
  • The Maritime Open-Air Museum gives an insight into the daily life of the inhabitants of Kurzeme seashore. Visitors can familiarise themselves with...
    Riņķa iela 2, Ventspils, LV-3601
  • Rubenis’ men were well-armed and organised. There were more than 600 troops, and the soldiers saw themselves as a national force which stood...
    Ventspils district, Ugāle parish, Ugāle, "Silmači", LV-3615
  • A rare monument survives in Skulte – a Soviet-era jet bomber, the IL-28, which supposedly was equipped to carry winged missiles. The airplane...
    Mārupe district, Skulte, LV-2108
  • If you drive down the Dobele-Annenieki road, you will find a paved military road splitting off from it. It is still used today. The buildings and...
    Dobele district
  • The Ziemupe nature restricted territory is on the shore of the Baltic Sea, and it protects a wide variety of coastline biotopes. The distinguished...
  • There are still some buildings, missile silos and an apartment building from the old No. 158 Zenith Missile Base at Ziemupe, but the territory has...
    Pāvilosta district, Vērgale parish, Ziemupe
Last updated: 20.06.2012