Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum is a MUST SEE
You must visit the beautiful Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum when in Riga, Latvia. Just a half hour outside of Riga’s center, surrounded by a pine forest, is one of Europe’s oldest and largest outdoor museums. Established in 1924, the museum grounds makeup 87 hectares (215 acres) and have collected 118 historical buildings from all over Latvia. The museum has done an amazing job of relocating the buildings onto the grounds and recreating the settings to make it feel and look like you are stepping back in time. We visited in late September when the leaves were turning and the grounds were absolutely beautiful.
Some tips for visiting the Museum:
- From city center by bus – at the Merkela Iela stop (just before the Riga Circus) take Bus #1 to the Brivdabus Muzejs stop about 30-minute ride. The museum is on the same side of the street (on the right).
- In the offseason, the museum does not have food or drink available to purchase. We recommend bringing your own and having a picnic on site.
- The museum fee is 4 euros per adult.
- The grounds are set in a forest, so wear comfortable shoes.
- It takes about 2+ hours to view the museum grounds.
Forest Setting for Museum
Footpaths lead from one section to another.
The museum was created to give you a feeling of how the villages and surroundings were built, with much attention to detail.
Absolutely our favorite church during our travels!!! Built-in 1704 and relocated to the museum in 1935. This wooden church has so much charm and character that you are just in awe at its simplicity. These pictures do not do it justice.
Typical Period House with a Pond
Homestead of a Retired Soldier
Well Water Fetching Pole
A wooden pole used to get water from the well.
Typical Thatched Roof
Typical roofing material was straw and grass/moss.
Beautiful Landscape Settings
You would think that this house has always been here.
19th Century House Interior
Notice the cabinet is dated 1859.
Lady Selling Handmade Decorations
This nice lady who spoke perfect English was selling her handmade goods – baskets, Christmas ornaments, and items to ward off evil spirits. She is standing outside the bathhouse, pictured below.
Interior of Bathhouse Dating Back to 1815
Typical House Interior from the 1780’s
We really enjoyed our visit to the Open-Air Museum, especially since it was a beautiful autumn day and off-season with literally no one visiting…..perfect! Walking the grounds you feel like you are in the countryside, walking through villages just without the inhabitants. Take a picnic lunch and find a quiet, relaxing spot to enjoy nature…….we did! Also when in Riga be sure to visit the Cesis Medieval Castle.
We welcome your comments and experiences, please leave them in the comments section.
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