Berlin Wall/Barricades Memorial
“The Berlin wall divided us, The wall of Riga unites us; Let us love those close to us And pray to God for our enemies”
In 1990, a special exhibition in Riga dedicated to the political reawakenings in Eastern Europe was organized, where a fragment of the dismantled Berlin Wall was put on display. In 1992, this fragment was combined in a memorial ensemble with a fragment from a concrete wall from the 1991 Barricades in Riga, and was set up at Kronvalda Park on Elizabates Street, next to the Riga World Trade Center. The location is symbolic, because the building was the former headquarter of the Central Committee of the Latvian Communist Party. This building was one of the final bastions of the Soviet authorities during the 1991 Barricades, and on January 20, 1991 it was here where Soviet special forces, or OMON, units were taken to counter those safeguarding Latvia’s independence. Latvia lost five brave souls in this battle.
The 1991 Barricades is a historical period in Latvia’s history from January 13 to 27, 1991, where measures were taken to safeguard Riga and other cities throughout the country after Latvia declared the restoration of its independence in May of 1990.