A part of Liepāja City which at the end of the 19th century developed as a permanent urban setting for the base of the Navy of Czarist Russia. Apart from numerous military buildings, a magnificent Orthodox Cathedral (1900 − 1903), a prison and a system of defence forts has been preserved here. The Military Port – Karosta – as an independent urban environment developed at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1890 , upon the order of Russian Czar Alexander II, the construction of a sizeable fortress and military town began to the north of Liepāja City, initially it was called Emperor Alexander’s III Port. Only during the period of Latvian independence was it called the Naval Port. Emperor Alexander’s III Port was a fully autonomous settlement with its own infrastructure, electric power-station, water supply system, church and schools. During the Soviet period, the Military Port was a closed territory, inaccessible even to the civilians of Liepāja.
Liepāja Military Port, which covers approximately one third of the total area of the city in its northern part, is a miraculous, paradoxical and unique place not only in the history and architecture of Latvia, but the whole world. The environment here is a singular reflection of the interaction between Russian military elegance and Soviet militarism. The present Military Port is a special district. It is no longer an army town, but a unified touristic site, inspiring creative people. Tourists can try out the life of a prisoner at the Military Port prison, walk through the underground labyrinths of the Northern Forts lit by torchlight. Buses No. 3. 4 and 7 connect the centre of Liepāja with the Military Port.