RIGA: Hidden Museum with Powerful Message

RIGA: Hidden Museum with Powerful Message

Zanis Lipke Memorial, which is actually not so small, is Riga’s most hidden museum. This concealment is factual - with the building not visible from the street and even exluded from some maps - as well as highly symbolic since this place used to serve as a hideaway for the saved Jews.

Zanis Lipke (1900-1987) was a very enterprising man with good interpersonal skills and a sense of adventure. In addition to his native language Latvian, he spoke Russian and also German, which allowed him to find work at the "Luftwaffe” warehouses where also the inmates of Riga ghetto were also employed. Not least thanks to his good command of German language, Zanis earned the trust of his superiors and was put in charge of transportation of workers – this special responsibility made it possible for him to save dozens of Jewish lives. Zanis himself considered it a duty of any human being. In his later years when asked how many people he saved, he simply answered: "I never counted them. I saved whomever I could save, I did not count."

Visit to Zanis Lipke Memorial can be combined with meeting one of its creators, the architect Zaiga Gaile. Themuseum is located in the suburb of Kipsala on the other side of the river from the centre of Riga, historically an area where fishermen and seamen used to live. Their remaining wooden houses from the turn of the 19th and 20th century are now being renovated and turned into modern living houses – a major project started by Zaiga Gaile in 2000. The museum was also a part of this project and upon completion in 2012 was nominated for the World Architecture Award. 

To book this visit, just contact our team in Riga and all will be arranged for your group.

Riga Kipsala wooden architecture