The Latvian Ethnographical Open-Air Museum
A short ride with public transport from Riga’s city centre will take you, almost literally, more than a 100 years back in time. No, I am not speaking of some sort of secret Latvian time machine-technology. I am of course speaking of another time machine, the Latvian Ethnographical Museum.
The backbone of the museum is the collection of traditional and historic architecture from all over Latvia. These houses are from all over Latvia, thus creating somewhat of a historic mini-Latvia exhibiting architecture from the early 17th century up until the time of the Second World War.
The collection of architecture serves as a nice backdrop to the Museum’s other activities and exhibitions. The open-air museum will give you the whole picture of rural life in Latvia throughout the years. Not only will you where people lived, but also what they did for a living – how was life for a fisherman 200 years ago? The Latvian Ethnographical Open-Air Museum will answer all these questions as well as give you an insight in to life outside of work. Exhibitions connected to the old buildings show interior design, traditional woodcraft and tools.
The Museum also offers activities that will make you further understand and experience life as it used to be. The activities differ as the seasons turn. In the summertime, you can experience outdoor concerts as well as the annual folk-art fair (6-7 June this year). After the harvest-festival in September, when winter starts to get its grip, activities shift to ice-fishing or sledge-rides.
The Museum will of course show itself from its best side when the weather is nice. I recommend you to have a look on the website before your trip to check if there’s any upcoming events. If you do not bring your own food you can buy some at the old farmstead or at the pub.
Getting to the museum is easy. Buses number 1, 19 and 28 go to the station named after the museum. Tram number 6 will take you to the station called Jugla, from there the museum is 2 km away.
Biking is also an option, make sure to acquaint yourself with a map and bike the 13 km to the museum. Good luck!