An unusual pace can be found a half and hour’s drive from the centre of Riga on the shore of Jugla Lake. Leisurely walks, skiing in winter, putting yourself in the lives of ancient Latvian farmers and fishermen, discovering the bathhouses used by ancient Latvians, being part of festive celebrations or forging your own jewellery; all of this is offered by the Latvian Open-Air Ethnographic Museum.
The Latvian Open-Air Ethnographic Museum is one of the oldest and largest open-air museums in Europe. 118 old buildings from all historical districts of Latvia – Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Zemgale and Latgale – built from the end of the 17th century up to the second half of the 1930s have been relocated, reconstructed and furnished. Farmsteads of Latvian farmers, craftsmen, and fishermen have been created in the museum. They all house the permanent exhibition – household and working tools, interior furnishings – which characterises the time period, the district, and the owners’ vocation. The farmsteads of Liv fishermen from Kurzeme and Russian Old Believers from Latgale are also open to visitors.
The museum was established in 1924, and so compared to similar establishments elsewhere in the world, its collection is unique because its formation started at a time when many objects were still preserved and had not been destroyed in the war. The Open-Air Museum covers an area of 87.66 hectares of a pine forest in Riga on the shores of Jugla Lake.