ABOUT THE INSTITUTION
The Museum of Ainaži Naval School is a structural unit of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation.
The mission of the Museum of Ainaži Naval School is to preserve the idea of Latvian seafaring. With its activities, the museum reminds the general public about the first Latvian and Estonian naval school, its operation, success and significance, thus raising Latvian self-confidence. The museum compiles a collection on the operation of the naval school, the construction of sailing ships on the Vidzeme coast in the early 19th cent.-early 20th cent. researches and popularizes the history of Ainaži.
HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM
On the Vidzeme seashore, near the Estonian border, there is a small town of Ainaži – the cradle of Latvian professional seafaring. It was here, in 1864, that the local sailors of Ainaži, inspired by the shipping enthusiast Krišjānis Valdemārs, established a new type of naval school with their own donations – the first naval school where Latvian and Estonian farmers could learn navigation knowledge free of charge.
The Museum of Ainaži Naval School is a memorial place to this first Latvian professional naval school and its graduates – Latvian and Estonian captains and helmsmen.
Jānis Skolis, the then director of the Museum of History and Revolution of the LSSR, proposed to restore the building of the former naval school and place a museum in it. The idea was also supported by the local municipalities of Ainaži and Limbaži.
The founding date of the museum can be considered December 18, 1968, when the Ministry of Culture of the Latvian SSR issued an order to establish the Museum of Ainaži Naval School, a branch of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation.
The funds for the restoration of the Captain Juris Veide former family house, the historical building of the early days of the naval school, were provided by the fishermen’s collective farms “Brīvais vilnis”, “Enkurs” and the Estonian “Kalur”. The restoration of the building was carried out by the state farm “Ainaži”.
On July 20, 1969, the museum was opened to visitors.The museum recognizes the exceptional contribution of the administration of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation at the time – director Līvija Blūmfelde and Deputy Director Beāta Krajevska, employees of the Navigation Department, as well as former long-term employees of the Ainaži Museum Arvīds and Velta Vētras.
The museum not only collects and stores materials about the Ainaži Naval School and seafaring, but also popularizes the idea of Latvians sailing the seas of the world. spirit. The museum staff take care that the Latvian seafaring spirit continues to live.
Museum opening ceremony, 1969
Beāta Krajevska – author of the exposition, 1969.
Jānis Skolis – initiator of the founding of the museum, 1969.
Tālbraucējs kapteinis Antons Ikaunieks.
Tālbraucējs kapteinis Normunds Vilkaušs.
Latvijas Jūrniecības savienība, priekšsēdētājs Roberts Gailītis.
Latvijas Tirdzniecības flotes jūrnieku arodbiedrība, prezidents Igors Pavlovs.
SIA LSC, prezidents Robert Michael Aynsley Kirkup.
Latvijas Tirdzniecības un rūpniecības kamera, valdes priekšsēdētājs Jānis Endziņš