The Corner House – KGB Building

Hello fellow Globetrotters!

I have written and published this post yesterday, but somehow it deleted itself. I do not know how or why, but that means for me that I have to write it again.
Hope you can understand that!

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KGB Building

So I just start again. When I visited Riga I went to an old KGB Building, known as the Corner House. Today, it has the Museum of of the Occupation of Latvia inside. It is one of the largest private museums in Latvia and owned as well as administered by a non-governmental organization, The Association of the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia.

Free exhibition opening times:

Monday: 10:00–17:30
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 12:00–19:00
Thursday: 10:00–17:30
Friday: 10:00–17:30
Saturday: 10:00–16:00
Sunday: 10:00–16:00

During the occupation of the Soviet Union, political prisoners were kept there. You can have a tour through the old cells, exercise yard, interrogation rooms and the cellar.

People died there. And you always have that in your mind. So maybe you can understand why it was a strange feeling to walk around there.
If you have ever visited an old concentration camp or anything similar you maybe know that feeling. Nowadays you walk there and see the cells for example, they tell you about what happened there but no one can really imagine what it had to be like when you were kept there.
We walked pass the room were the people were killed – not a nice feeling. I could not stay there long and went back outside.

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cells

We were told that the floor was covered with a red carpet, but not because they thought it would looks beautiful or because they thought the prisoners were little superstars, no it had a more practical reason: if prisoners came back covered in blood by an interrogation and the blood dropped down, you could not see it.

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a cell

Here is a brief overview of the history:
Latvia was under occupation from 1940-1991. On 17 June 1940 the Soviet Union occupied and annexed Latvia. Just a year later, National-Socialist Germany invaded the Soviet Union and occupied Latvia. Destructive war happened and after that, Latvia was re-occupied by the Soviet Union.
The consequences for Latvia were disastrous. Latvia lost about one third of it´s population. Ten thousands lost their lives in the Holocaust , political murders or war action.

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The Corner House

What the museum has to offer:

  • guided tours in Latvian, English, German and Russian
  • a virtual museum (if you want to visit it, klick here.)
  • photographing and videotaping without charge
  • history books, video discs and souvenirs in the Museum shop
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the exhibition room

Ticket price of a guided tour of the hallways, cells, cellar and exercise yard costs for an  Adults 5€, for students 2€.
Visiting the exhibition about KGB history is free of charge.

If you want to know more about the museum and the exhibition, feel free to visit the website of the museum here.

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inner courtyard

This is the inner courtyard, where the prisoners could have some time outside. There they could hear the bells of a church, the only way to gain some hope of getting out.

Watch also: Riga – what I did there.

In the picture below you can see some of the drawings the prisoners made into the cell walls, which of course were not allowed.

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cell drawings

Guided tours of the hallways, cells, cellar and exercise yard:

Monday: 10:30 (ENG), 12:00, 13:30 (ENG), 15:00, 16:30 (ENG)
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 12:00 (ENG), 13:30, 15:00 (ENG), 16:30 (ENG), 18:00
Thursday: 10:30 (ENG), 12:00, 13:30 (ENG), 15:00, 16:30 (ENG)
Friday: 10:30 (ENG), 12:00, 13:30 (ENG), 15:00, 16:30 (ENG)
Saturday: 10:30 (ENG), 12:00 (ENG), 13:30 (ENG), 15:00
Sunday: 10:30 (ENG), 12:00 (ENG), 13:30 (ENG), 15:00
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File No. 1914/2014

 

Hope you liked the post, even if I had to re-write it.

See you soon at our next destination!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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