In the new year – 2024, the National History Museum of Latvia will experience long-awaited changes. Until the end of May, the museum will still work in its temporary premises at Brīvības bulvāris 32 (the so-called “Sakta’s house”), which were adapted to the needs of the museum after the fire of the Riga Castle in June 2013, but in the autumn the museum plans to return to its historical home in the Riga Castle with an engaging program of events, which will be followed by the stage of setting up of the new expositions.
In the first half of the year, the museum will work as it has been until now, offering those interested in history the exposition of the history of Latvia, as well as the exhibitions “Money in Latvia”, “Latvia in Colour”, “Constitution 100+”, “Founders of the Republic of Latvian ” and related excursions and lectures (in Latvian).
The nearest excursions (in Latvian) in January will be held under the guidance of museum specialists in the exhibition “Money in Latvia” (13 and 23 January) and the part of the exposition dedicated to the ancient history of Latvia (20 January), while on 27 January there will be an event (in Latvian) for families with children “How Did Ancient People Live?”. Until May, there will be events (in Latvian) for families with children once a month, and also once a month there will be a Senior’s Day for visitors of retirement age.
In January the museum plans to open the catalog “Skirts in Latvia in the 19th c. – beginning of 20th c.“, but the book “Latvia in Colour” will be published in spring.
On 1 February a new exhibition “The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (1561–1795)” will be opened. The exhibition created in cooperation with Lithuanian colleagues will be complemented by several events.
As usual, on 4 May the museum at Brīvības bulvāris 32 will celebrate the Day of the Restoration of Latvia’s Independence, but on the Night of the Museums on 18 May, it will colorfully and grandly invite visitors to explore the museum’s exposition for the last time.
Museum colleagues and the interested ones will also be invited to a conference in May, where the museum will look back at the intensive ten years of changes in the temporary premises at Brīvības bulvāris, as well as take a broader look on the importance of infrastructure in the interaction between museums and their visitors.
In the autumn of 2024, the museum will begin to inhabit the Riga Castle, where it was housed in 1920. However, the museum will have only one part of the restored premises of the Riga Castle – about one third of the total planned area of the museum’s premises – as the rest of the premises are currently not planned to be repaired. Thus, the museum will be able to show the wealth of its collection to visitors in a much more limited amount than it would like.
Until the end of 2024, in the renovated premises of the Riga Castle, the museum will first offer to explore the renovated premises, as well as a separate program of events for different audiences, but on 11 and 18 November, as well as during Christmas, larger events are planned. The public will be informed about these plans in more detail in autumn, when the museum’s brand developed by SIA KID Design and the new communication tools – the new website, application, etc. – will be presented.
At the same time, in the course of 2024, the museum together with SIA DJA, the winner of the exhibition design contest, will complete the technical design of the new Riga Castle exhibitions, and from the beginning of 2025 it is planned to ellaborate and set up the new exhibition equipment.
The museum plans to start full-fledged work in the Riga Castle in the second half of 2025 with three new, modern permanent expositions “Castles of Livonia”, “Sacral Art”, “History of the Riga Castle” and the opening exhibition “Streaming the Time”. A new era will begin, in which the National History Museum of Latvia will be able to continue its work in a significantly higher quality and more modern environment.