The impressive National Library of Latvia mixes cultural history with modernity and intellectual magnitude. No wonder that it is considered a national landmark. In August 2014, the official opening ceremony of the new national library took place after many years of reconstruction work.
This outstanding building housing the library was designed by Gunnar Birkerts, a prominent Latvian-American architect, who has also designed the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, the Corning Glass Museum, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, and the list goes on. According to Latvian folklore, the library's characteristic crystal mountain look represents the height of achievement and the restoration of lost wisdom. It also symbolizes that the Latvian people have overcome cultural times suppressed by war and Soviet occupation. According to the architect himself, the building is supposed to merge humanism and culture together, whilst referencing Latvian history, folklore, literature, music, and modern visual art.
A library for contemporary Latvia
Located by the Daugava River, on the other side of the Old Town, the National Library of Latvia stands out as an astonishing landmark for contemporary Latvian society. It is the start of a new cultural golden age for all Latvians. The building consists of five zones, the public area, readers' area, repository, employees only, and technical maintenance area. This library is one of the most significant buildings of modern times in the Baltics, and is a must-see for all visitors to the Latvian capital.