World War I Centenary Events in Riga

2014-04-02 latvia
Author: Juris Ciganovs, Deputy Director of the Latvian War Museum
World War I Centenary Events in Riga

This year is marked by jubilees of several significant historical events that are being commemorated in many countries. Exactly one hundred years ago the mankind was faced with its first-ever global military conflict that is being recorded in world history books as the World War I. The outbreak of hostilities in Europe that started in June 1914 involved almost all countries from all the continents of our planet; because of this war the world and its political map had changed forever; it influenced world economics, scientific and technological progress, social life and culture.


The centenary of this global military conflict will be commemorated all around the world, including our country because the World War I has had an important role in Latvian history as well – our national sovereignty was gained due to consequences of this war. A number of World War I commemorative events will be held in our country and some of these events relate to Riga being the European Capital of Culture in 2014 (for further information please visit:


Thus on 17 May 2014 an exhibition 1914 was opened at the Arsenāls Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art. The exhibition 1914 summarizes visual arts’ testimonies of the World War I as a reference point for 20th century’s historical, social and cultural development. The exhibition is organized in cooperation with Lithuanian, Estonian, Finnish, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, Croatian and Serbian national art museums. This exhibition will be open until 20 March 2014 (for further information please visit:


The Wartime Household exhibit will be opened in May 2014 at the Latvian War Museum where visitors will be able to look at a century old daily life in our cities and rural areas when their tranquillity was suddenly broken by the “storms” of war.


In order to assess the events, consequences and significance of the World War I in the Baltic region, the Latvian War Museum in collaboration with the Faculty of History and Philosophy of the University of Latvia and with assistance of the Republic of Latvia Ministry of Defence will be holding an international research conference Society, War and History: The Military, Political and Social Developments of the First World War in the Baltic Region (1914–1918) that will take place at the Latvian War Museum on 26–28 June 2014. The conference promises to be the biggest event in Latvian historians’ academic life this year. It is anticipated that many academic historians from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Russia, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and the United States will attend this conference. A special edition of the conference proceedings is planned to be published by the end of 2014 (for more information on the conference, please visit Latvian War Museum’s webpage:


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