History of Latvian Navigation

The exhibition devoted to the history of Latvian Navigation provides an insight into sea transport in Latvia from the 10th century to our day. It takes the visitors through the development of ships, from a single-masted sailing ship for coastal shipping of inconsiderable cargo along the Gulf of Riga to a modern motor ship that would travel across seas and oceans. The exhibition shows the development of Latvia’s ports – Riga, Ventspils, Liepāja and others – from their origin to the present day, their reconstruction and improvements, which eventually made them important European transit centres. Development of seafaring is unthinkable without professional sailors and marine employees. The professions of a sea captain, helmsman and ship’s engineer over centuries have remained among the most prestigious in this country on the sea. This makes naval schools very important. The exhibition gives an insight into shipbuilding, especially that of sailing ships, about maritime societies and organisations, everyday routine on board and its dependence on caprices of nature and world political events.

On show are about 400 original exhibits: parts of ships and their equipment, tolls used in building sailing ships, navigation instruments, sea charts, marines, ships’ flags and standards, course-books and certificates of naval schools as well as study aids used there, personal possessions of sailors, uniforms, photos, exotic souvenirs from far-away lands, and others. Of particular interest are ships models and maquettes, both mass-produced and made by model-building masters.