Saturday, January 29, 2011

Riga Doms and Latvia's Barricade Days

In my post earlier this week about Latvia's Barricade Days, I noted that churches served as warming centers and of course places of worship during the two week period when the Soviet OMON police tried to suppress the independence movement there.

From left to right are three Latvian patriots, Voldemars Zelenkovs, Harijs Liepins, and the future Mrs. Marathon Pundit, listening to a speech in RÄ«gas Doms, the Riga Cathedral, in January, 1991.

Riga Doms during the Barricade Days, 1991

Below is the Riga Cathedral, which was built in 1211. That's right, 800 years ago. Mrs. Marathon Pundit took the photo in 2004.

Riga Doms, 2004

When Latvia  finally won its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Latvians made up a bare majority of the nation--now roughly 60 percent of its population is Latvian. Stalin moved many Russians into the reluctant Latvian SSR, his goal was to make Latvians a minority in their own land. Russians currently consist of about 30 percent of the Baltic state. And that's too many for some Latvians, as this graffiti attests.

Riga street graffiti, 2004.
Related post:

Twenty years ago: Latvia's Barricade Days

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