Military Heritage

Military Heritage sites in Latvia

Military secrets have been carefully protected and hidden everywhere and through time eternal. It is no surprise that we still know comparatively little about the Soviet and then Russian armed forces, which only left Latvia and the other Baltic States in 1994. A good example of this is the unique “Little Star” on the Kurzeme seashore – a massive radio reception system with three parabolic antennae that were used to intercept telephone calls and probably to engage in other information processes over a vast region. It was only recently that we learned that the former Latvian SSR was home to more than 1,000 military units which were posted to some 600 facilities. The total area of these military bases was equal to more than 10% of the Soviet republic’s territory.

There are a few well known military objects that are open to visitors who wish to get a bit of a sense about what the Soviet era was like. These include the military prison in Liepāja and a hidden bunker in Līgatne. When people travel through Latvia, they see a great many interesting military structures and objects, but they probably will have no sense at all as to what their purpose was. That’s why we’ve created a database about the military heritage. There, you can see what was done with the secret objects during Soviet times, what happened there, and how the presence of the military affected local residents. Each object has a photo gallery, and it is marked on the Google map which makes it possible to view its strategic location from a satellite image. There is a story attached to nearly every one of the objects – sometimes there are jokes and legends told by eyewitnesses.

Perhaps you, too, have an interesting story about a former military object?  Please share!  Ring Country Traveller on +371 67617600, or write to Thank you in advance! All shared stories see here.

Military heritage sites see here

Military heritage in Kurzeme self-drive tour

Map of Military Heritage

It is not our goal to encourage people to visit abandoned military objects – Soviet military bases, staging grounds, missile bases, etc., because these are locations which may still pose dangers to travellers. The objects that are described in the database, including eyewitness stories and information, are important so that we do not forget our history, nor the things which happened at those various locations. This is an element of history which is disappearing from our collective memories. The aim of this project is to preserve the information for the future. Please remember that when you are visiting military objects, you must take responsibility for what you do there!