Save historical buildings in Karosta, Latvia - a unique former navy town

  • by: Maris Liepnieks
  • recipient: Liepaja City Council, Liepaja Special Economic Zone headquarters, Latvian Government

Karosta is a unique, historical part of Liepaja city, Latvia. It was built as a military town for the Russian Empire at the end of 19th century. It has also experienced the Latvian independence, the fifty year long soviet period and now is once again in the independent Latvia, but even the two world wars did not do so much harm to historical values, architecture and to some extent even the inhabitants, as has done the two latter decades of negligence by Liepaja city council and the headquarters of Liepaja special Economic zone. These institutions have done nothing to preserve the historical buildings. Instead of being a Unesco world heritage site, this unique military town is turned into a run-down low-class area, despite being built as a luxury town for the Russian military elite. It is by the Baltic sea, near beautiful pine forests and great beaches, has hundreds of historical buildings of architectural value, but all that is falling in ruines. And not just that - Liepaja city council has now published yet another project of destruction - they are about to destroy the last remaining soviet-era empty (abandoned) housing blocks (you can see them in the video attached to this petition, at 0:18), which are part of the reason tourists visit Karosta, and could be potentially used as a unique historical monument, as a symbol of the long gone Russian army who left in 1994, it could be used for culture and arts, and there have already been some activities, when old buildings were used for light shows and performances, however the arts center which organized these events does not exist anymore, and this is partly to conflicts and lack of any kind of support for them from the City Council, which only wants industrial, not cultural or tourism development in Karosta. Please help rise awareness of this unique place and please help preserve also those last soviet housing blocks. They might seem not of much architectural value compared to the Tsar-time architecture found nearby, but they do form part of what Karosta is and was - architecturally, culturally, historically. Thank you for your support and, if you want, google-search Karosta to find out more.

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