The Latvian War Museum located in the Powder Tower in Old Riga is the biggest military history museum in Latvia with an extensive and impressive collection.
The goal of the museum is to reveal to the public Latvia’s military and political history. The museum’s collection has more than 25,400 items which are systematized in individual collections and chronological exhibitions, having a large number of documents, orders, weapons, photos, uniforms and other objects.
See museum’s exhibitions:
- Warriors and Art of War. The 9th-16th Century – features the oldest period in Latvian history;
- Latvia and Latvian Warriors. The 17th-18th Century – features the time when countries of the Baltic Sea coast fought about power in the Baltic Sea;
- Latvians in Military Service.
The 19th century – early 20th century – features service of Latvians in the army of the Russian Empire;
- Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia and Freedom Fights in 1918-20 – features the formation of the country, the formation of different army units of Latvia’s Interim Government and fights against the Bolsheviks, the German forces and Bermontian army;
- Latvia’s Defense in 1920-40 – features the security system in Latvia after the Freedom Fights and signing of the Peace Treaty with Soviet Russia;
- Latvia in World War II – features the occupation regimes and fates of the Latvian residents conscripted to the armed forces of these regimes;
- Latvia during the Soviet Occupation. The Third Awakening. 1945-91 – features the occupation time and the path to restoring independence.
The Latvian War Museum is located in the Powder Tower. It has been rebuilt several times and obtained its present name in the 17th century when gunpowder was stored there.
There were 11 cannons placed in the tower, and also a "cannon ball catcher". Later there was a prison and torture chamber in the tower, and weapons were stored there until 1883. When the War Museum was opened in the tower, a museum’s wing was built where to display the exhibition.
The height of the round tower is 25.6 meters, its diameter is 14.3 meters, while its walls are three meters thick. You can see cannon balls in the tower that were walled in to remember the Second Northern War.