Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Walk in Kronvalda Park

Kronvalda parks (originally Strēlnieku dārzs) is a thirty acre park in Vecrīga, bordered by Kalpaka and Kronvalda boulevards and bisected by the Rīga canal.

The park is named in honor of Kronvaldu Atis, Latvian linguist, poet and teacher (1837-1875). The sculpture pictured above is dedicated to artist and founder of the Dievturu draudze, Ernests Brastiņš, who was deported and executed by the USSR in 1941. 

Another statue in the park celebrates Latvian teacher and writer, Morics Eduard Zilber (often better known as Sudraba Edžus), who lived from 1860-1941. 

The Ķergalvja lapene (pavilion) was a gift from master mason Krišjānis Ķergalvis to the city of Riga on its 700th anniversary.

To mark Rīgas 800th anniversary as well as 15 years of friendship between the Latvian capital & Suzhou, China, Sudžou built a pagoda on the shore of the canal, surrounded by Chinese-style gardens.

The pagoda faces the back of Rīgas brīvostas pārvalde, the Freeport of Rīga Authority building. The waters of the canal, the blue sky and the park is reflected in what resembles the silhouette of a ship.

In front of the Freeport of Rīga Authority is one of the 2014 “Mākslai vajag telpu” (Art needs a space) art installation snails that symbolize the slow pace of bringing public art to Rīga’s streets. The mirrored mosaic by Dārta Leiškalne is one of 15 snails from the installation completed by The Cracking Art Group out of Italy.

Last year the restoration of the fountain next to the Rīga Congress Center was completed. The largest fountain in Rīga is now uniquely interactive, the water rising and falling according to motions made by the ‘conductor’ over the sensor.

A most unusual statue is the giant monkey in a space suit. ‘Sam’ is a sculpture from the series ‘First Crew’ by Denis Prasolov, dedicated to the many animals used by the Soviet Union in space exploration during the 1950s-1960s.

A remnant of the Berlin Wall can be seen in front of the former Communist Party Central Committee building, the memorial erected in memory of the 1991 barricades; “…the Latvian people united for non-violent resistance to the repressive actions of the Soviet regime of aspirations of the Baltic States for freedom. The historical fragment of the wall safeguarded the access to the Parliament Building.” The memorial was restored in 2011.

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