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Likteņdārzs to be completed by the 100th anniversary of Latvia in 2018

01.02.2017

An ambitious idea — to create a place that brings together the past, present and future, a place that excites and moves us and our visitors. 

Step on the Nameisis Viking boat and let it take us on a journey across the Daugava River which we have come to call the River of Destiny. Historically, the Daugava River has been a vital artery surrounding which fortifications and towns were built, economy bloomed and new horizons opened up for education and culture.

The waters of Daugava are mighty and events that have unfolded through the centuries by its shores are mythically powerful and fascinating.

Nameisis takes us to the berth at the Koknese Island by Likteņdārzs (Garden of Destiny) where we can see this ambitious project with our own eyes.

This unusual gift which has been in the making with the help of the whole nation is an homage to Latvia for its 100th anniversary in 2018. We take part in big clean-ups around the area, we donate, bring in boulders and cobble stones, we gift soil for building a hill — we do what we can to keep this big project going.

Since 2005, when 14 prominent figures in and outside Latvia together with Koknese Municipality established the non-profit organisation “Kokneses Fonds” with the aim to create Likteņdārzs, an incredible amount of work has been done and this place has been visited by thousands of people from near and far.

Likteņdārzs is a place that brings together the past, present and future — of the people and of the nation.  It brings it all together to find consolation in the past, give strength for the present and inspire to fulfil one’s dreams in the future.

The architectural concept of this unusual nature park is based on the winner of the international competition — Japanese architect Shunmyo Masuno’s idea on emotionally exhilarating nature territory at the shore of the Daugava River that is filled with expressive natural and man-made elements.

At the heart of Likteņdārzs is an amphitheatre which is surrounded by a wall made of 50,000 grey stones and oak trees representing the guard of honour which symbolically separates the past from the future in the park. A water channel flows around the amphitheatre embodying the tears of the victims. To reach the heart of Likteņdārzs, let the river calm your mind and heart with the eternal and consoling flow of water.

In the recent years, we have also finished the view terrace from which you can enjoy a beautiful scenery of the River of Destiny. Gazing at its depths, you can feel the unhurried pace of time, have a piece of mind and let this place fill you with positive emotions.

If you have arrived here by car and you walk to Likteņdārzs from the car park, you will be able to see an apple orchard with the planting of which the beginnings of the garden were marked back in 2008. Every apple tree is like a tribute to someone, while the 200-meter-long cobble stone path is slowly paved stone by stone each of which having the donator’s name carved on top. The path will have 113,000 cobble stones in total.

With an announcement of 2015 the soil campaign was launched which invites everyone to bring in soil for the building of the Big Hill — field of meadow flowers which will be made as an open landscape beaming towards the sky. During winter, the field of flowers will symbolise the past, whereas in spring it will represent the energy of life and the courage to grow for the future. 

The works on the Big Hill started last year will continue in 2017. Last year we also laid the foundation for the multi-functional public building which will have conference rooms, a restaurant and a souvenir shop. The author of this building’s project is one of the most distinguished Latvian architects Andris Kronbergs and Architectural Practice “Arhis arhitekti”. This is a big step in the development of Likteņdārzs which complements the existing constructions and the overall symbolic environmental concept.

Among other projects, work on the Virtual Memorial has also been started.