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Castle of the Lights

Symbol of Latvias freedom

Before Latvia restored its independence in 1991, the tense relationship with Russians has been almost the main issue for the process to build a new nation, the government of Latvia once again talked about the need to build a national library building. Just one year after Latvia declared its independence from Soviet Union, the Minister Cabinet decided to build a brand new library.

And finally, the Latvian parliament has accepted the project of the Castle of Light, which will be the name, the integration was slow, but maybe Castle of lights will make it quicker. It was something that Latvians needed to close the never ending fights and wars between Russia, to make their own very Latvian library.

The architect Gunars Birkerts has been working on this project to finally make it real, the modernistic building is a 196 meter long body on which the rocky roof reaches its highest point at 66 meters. An indoor space of 210,000 cubic meters will house some 1,000 readers and 6.5 mil. volumes of books.

The name of the library is very important, it comes from the legend, where the Castle of Light sank in a lake, and a prophecy tells, that one day a great son (aslo from the legend)of Latvia will rebuild this castle , that will be a s a symbol of freedom, culture and education.

Latvian opinions are different, some totally support the project and truly believe that with the Castle will come the light to raise from the darkness, some are very skeptical, spreading that in a moment of crisis it wasn't the best thing and timing.

They might have rason to say that, because the price tag is hefty, the total cost is 116 million lati , $242 million, 165 million euro, however adjusted for skyrocketing inflation, local media estimate a price tag of up to 555 million lati, $1.1 billion, 790 million euro. Who to believe...?

Originally Gaismas Pils was planned for Latvia's 79th birthday last November, unfortunately there were some financial problems, so freedom temple will be laid this spring cornerstone may be laid this spring! A new hope!

City: Riga
Country: Latvia
By: By Riga project
Published on 08-Nov-2011
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