The people of Liepāja have always been very proud, sometimes even too proud. They have always tried to stand out, to take the biggest, the best, the newest and the most modern for themselves.
They have always wished to be the first. In fact it has not been without the reason. Which city in Latvia except Riga has had the honor to become the capital of the country? Although only half of the year and at the very beginning of the newly established country, but still…
Fortunately, we – the people of Liepāja – can also smile about this character feature of the people of Kurzeme. And, finally, it has given the city a lot of good and will be used with pleasure, honored and shown to the guests by the next generations.
If you should choose your travel destination, it is good idea to go to the place where many unique things can be seen. Unique in Latvia and the Baltics, in Europe and all around the world…
IN THE WORLD
The largest mechanical organ
Holy Trinity Lutheran Cathedral in Liepāja
The whitest and finest sand
Saint Meinard’s Catholic Church
The former Vatican’s pavilion
in international exhibition
“EXPO 2000” in Hannover, Germany
The longest swamp trail
Dunika swamp trail is 4,5 km long
The only military Prison in Europe open to tourists
A prominent sample of technical engineering
A swing metal construction bridge over Karosta canal
The Art Nouveau pavilion of Liepāja Peter’s market
One of the most beautiful market pavilions in Europe
IN THE BALTICS
The only Milk Museum
In Skrunda region
The largest historical military territory
Liepāja fortress and Karosta (Naval Port)
The oldest electric tram
The largest Military Cemetery
Priekule Military Cemetery
The highest building with cupolas
Liepāja St. Nicholas Orthodox Marine Cathedral
The longest amber neckless
Liepāja Craftsmen House
The largest drums
The largest environmental design object in Latvia
The highest white sand dune
Pūsēnu Hill (Pūsēnkalns) in Jūrmalciems is 37m high
The oldest professional drama theatre
The smallest town
The most westerly point of Latvia
“The Green Beam” (“Zaļais stars”) in Bernāti Nature Park
What to see and do in Liepaja
Great Amber Concert Hall
The recently opened concert hall „Great Amber” comprises eight stories of 14’126 m². It has three concert halls – the Great Hall with 1010 seats, the Chamber Hall with 200 seats and the Experimental Stage with 150 seats, in addition to public events spaces Civita Nova, a coffee shop and a restaurant.
Liepajas famous beach
The Liepāja beach has been a popular swimming location since the 1860s, when the Russian tsars and their retinues began to visit here. The beach is 50 to 80 m wide when the wind is calm, and it has white fine sand which amazes even those people who have been to the world’s most famous beach resorts. After a strong wind you can find some pieces of amber washed ashore. Only be careful – occasionally you can come across the so-called “false amber”. These are highly flammable pieces of phosphorus which got into the sea when the Soviet military destroyed phosphorus bombs in the seaside village of Pape 50 km to the south of Liepāja.
Liepāja has a first beach in Latvia, adjusted for people with special needs. It has special audio beacons for visually impaired, swimming chairs for people in wheelchairs, and wide convenient path to get directly to the seafront from the Rescue Station as well as an adequate sanitation module for people with vision and movement disabilities.
Liepāja beach is a destination for kite surfers and windsurfers. Dogs are allowed on the beach, but please do so only outside the official swimming areas and only on leash.
The garrison prison of Liepāja’s Karosta was built at the beginning of the 20th century as a Navy hospital but has never been used as a hospital. In all times it has been used as a short term disciplinary penalty place for navy sailors and non – commissioned officers since the beginning of the 20th century.
Garrison sailors, who participated in the events of the revolution in 1905, served their sentence in the prison.
The building has been used as a short term disciplinary penalty place for sailors and non-commissioned officers by both the Soviet and Latvian Navy. The last of the convicts have scratched calendars, drawings, slogans, catchwords and messages on the walls of the cells just a short time ago, in 1997.
Visitors have the opportunity to go on an excursion in the prison, to participate in a reality show “Behind the bars” or to stay overnight in a prison cell. Visitors can dress up in military uniforms from different times and take photos. Karosta visitor’s centre offers information about Karosta, guided tours around Karosta neighbourhood, bicycle rent, souvenirs and opportunity to watch a short film ”Karosta”.
01.06.-31.08. daily 9:00-19:00
01.05-31.05. & 01.09.-30.09. daily 10:00-18:00;
01.10.-30.04. Sat, Sun 12:00-15:00;
at other times – by prior arrangement
Adults/ 4.50 EUR
Pupils/ students/ pensioners/ 3 EUR
More information: www.karostascietums.lv
The world’s largest mechanical organ in Liepaja Holy Trinity Cathedral
Use the opportunity to climb up to the top of the church tower revealing a breathtaking panorama of Liepāja!
Learn more about the organ listening to the organ player’s story and don’t miss the unique chance to see how the organ is played or give a present to yourself and the friends by asking for an organ music concert! Inside the church you can see also a plaque dedicated to Finnish Jaegers who gave the oath of loyalty to the government of the newly established independent Finland in 1918 in this Liepāja church.
Construction started in 1742 (the first pile was driven on March 29, the foundation stone was laid on July 19). Architect J.K.Dorn, assistant M.Froelich. The church was consecrated on December 5, 1758. The construction was completed in 1866 hen more or less in line with the original design the third floor was built and the forth floor was assembled of metal structures. The organ was built by one of the best organ builders of that time H.A. Contius. The instrument with 38 stops was officially handed over to the church in 1779. During the 19th century the instrument was repeatedly enlarged, in 1885 – up to 131 stops. Also nowadays the organ is one of the largest in Europe. The interior of the church displays splendor typical of rococo style.