Brīvības square - Freedom Square

Sestdiena, 21.06.2014, 07:30

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Freedom Square is the central square in Tukums. It was established in the 14th century, when the Livonian Order built a new Tukums Castle. Since that time, a market was held three days each week – on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The market was eventually moved because there was no more room for all the potential sellers. It lost its name, and in 1935 it was renamed Freedom Square.

One year later, the director of Rīga gardens, Andrejs Zeidaks, organised the landscaping of the square. It was hoped to install a monument to participants in Latvia’s liberation battles, but that did not happen.

Freedom Square has been renamed several times. During the first period of Soviet occupation in 1940, it became Red Square. During the subsequent German occupation, it was again Freedom Square, but after World War II it became Red Square once again. Tukums was one of the few towns in the world to have a central square that was named Red Square, just like Moscow. A monument to Lenin was installed at the square in November 1955.

The square was once again renamed Freedom Square during the Singing Revolution, and the Lenin monument was dismantled on May 29, 1990. Reconstruction of the square occurred in 1995 in honour of the 200th anniversary of the date when Tukums received the rights of a district town.

The oldest known image of the square dates back to 1832, and it was produced by Friedrich Wilhelm Oswald Rosenberg, great-grandson of Johann Gottlob Groschke, a Tukums-based surgeon and founder of the town’s first pharmacy.