Historic Neighborhoods | Riga, Latvia

 

Photographer Andrejs Strokins is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  From the project ‘People in the Dunes’.  To see Andrejs’s body of work, click on any image.

 

The areas of Bolderāja and Daugavgrīva have had significant historical importance for the city of Riga; however, the importance has decreased and they have swiftly turned into neglected peripheries with remarkable swiftness.

For many centuries the only road that connected Riga with the whole region of Kurzeme ran through these dune territories. The Daugavgrīva Fortress which is located on the Eastern part of the island next to the estuary of Daugava was erected to protect Riga from enemy ships.  These objects kept their military importance right up to World War I when new military technologies that made fortresses rather useless were introduced.

 

Daugavgriva Fortress

 

Several fishermen villages were located near the Fortress; shortly before WWI the inhabitants of Riga followed the trends of the time and summer houses started to appear in the region.

 

Peope swimming in the quarry near by Bolderaja
2014

 

Local bar interior
Bolderaja, 2013

 

The Second World War brought dramatic change. When it ended, Daugavgrīva became a closed territory used by the Soviet Naval Forces — the fishermen shacks were replaced by high-rise buildings and gardening and garage cooperatives were introduced in the rich bottom lands of Buļļupe.

 

Burned down allotments in Voleri
2014

 

View from Bolderaja district blockhouse roof
2011

 

Car repair advertisement
Voleri, 2013

 

Drunk people on the frozen Gulf of Riga
2013

 

Years have passed since Latvia has restored its independence and the Soviet Army has left, but the areas have not yet recovered. Their mostly Russian-speaking inhabitants have stuck somewhere between the Soviet past and the ever-changing present. Bolderāja has one of the closest beaches of the Baltic Sea and yet most of the inhabitants of Riga choose to ignore it and search for resorts, sanatoriums and plots of land for their summer houses elsewhere.

 

Daugavgriva Beach
2013

 

New Orthodox church construction site in Daugavgriva
2014

 

All images © Andrejs Strokins

 

 

See also:

Cosmic Sandess

By Andrejs Strokins

 

 

 

 

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