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Lágnætti
12-18-2010, 09:57 PM
A few snaps from the past year or so.

First up, some shots from my visit to Latvia in June.

Karosta: Secret Soviet City.

Karosta is a now mostly-abandoned old Soviet naval port on the west coast of Latvia, near the city of Liepaja. After Latvia became independent in the early nineties, the Soviets left the secret naval base and only a few individuals remained. Barracks, schools, everything fell into disrepair, was vandalized, overgrown and the place gained a reputation for criminality, violence and depair which still remains. It's the strangest place I've ever been; a population of a few thousand ethnic Russians hang on in one of the most depressing public housing estates I've ever seen (the stray cats! the begging children!) , at the centre of which is a gorgeous Orthodox Russian cathedral. Used during the Occupation as a cinema and a storage facility, it was restored after the fall of Communism and was full of headscraved Russian women of all ages, clouds of incense and beardy priests when I visited. A film was made about Karosta a few years ago - you can get an impression of the city by watching the trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVN4nXzy6RY) for it.

The cathedral:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5288/5272268926_d832f65690.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5272268926/)

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5046/5272329548_3220f54e4f.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5272329548/)

On a bright sunny day in mid-June, with greenery around, this is probably the best this place ever looks:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5049/5272269148_dba4b036dd.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5272269148/)

Abandoned barracks, now little more than a red-brick shell:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5048/5271688519_1a69d600b7.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5271688519/)

Nature is taking back the city:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5002/5271688367_7b5173cd3f.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5271688367/)

The old naval prison, renowned for its brutality, now run as a (really fucking weird (http://www.karostascietums.lv/)) tourist attraction:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5241/5271688909_3feaf3f88d.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5271688909/)

Peeking through the bars of the door, before a giant meathead comes and gets you, orders you around and if you're really lucky, puts you into amusing stress positions (I said it was a really fucking weird tourist attraction):

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5001/5271688609_2014f31013.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5271688609/)

More to come ...

Lágnætti
12-18-2010, 10:24 PM
The Latvian Riflemen

During WW1, when Latvia was part of the Russian Empire, the Latvian Riflemen regiments were formed to fight the Germans. This monument to them towers at the centre of Riga, facing the river and the Left Bank.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5048/5272407442_a24bba02c9.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5272407442/)

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5249/5272407572_e38eafe075.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5272407572/)

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5281/5272407344_9909d5bd02.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5272407344/)

Lágnætti
12-18-2010, 10:58 PM
Flowers for the Lost

From the monument to tens of thousands of victims of the deportations to the gulags by Stalin in 1941 and 1949:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5205/5271838501_867b60d0ba.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5271838501/)

Makeshift memorial in Liepaja to Janis Grodums, a Latvian rock musician who died just before a concert to raise money for his medical treatment:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5205/5271688715_10a5c21478.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5271688715/)

At the Soviet WW2 victory monument, Victory Park, Riga.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5241/5271881449_22fa3fe1f7.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5271881449/)

At the Freedom Memorial, Riga.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5170/5271874801_b00dcc249b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57219102@N04/5271874801/)

menju56
12-19-2010, 08:33 PM
Great photos! Latvia looks fascinating

Chalk
12-19-2010, 10:21 PM
I love the first photo. What a contrast.