Bastejkalns or Bastion Hill in English is a nice and quiet park in the very center of Riga. It was formed in the 19th century after tearing down city bulwarks. On the one side of Bastejkalns you will find the Liberty monument, while on the other – Blaumanis sculpture.

Dividing the Old Town from the Central District with the Freedom Monument in the middle, Bastejkalns Park itself is divided by the winding Pilsetas Canal. Besides benches to bask in the sun and picturesque bridges over the canal, the park contains memorials to those who died there in Latvia’s struggle for freedom in 1991.

In 1991 Bastejkalns was turned into a battle field when Russian OMON (Special Forces) attacked the building of Interior Ministry of Latvia, right next to what is now the U.S. Embassy. Several journalists were shot dead while filming the attack. A school boy and two policemen also lost their lives during the incident. Now there are memorial stones at the places where it happened.


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