Once completely off limits to civilians, the former naval port has become Liepāja’s main tourist attraction. Built from 1890 - 1904 at the behest of Tsar Alexander III, the city within a city cost the Russian treasury a modest sum of 45 million gold roubles. Ironically, the massive fortifications constructed on the coast were dynamited before the First World War even began as a result of the friendship treaty signed between Germany and Russia in 1908. The complex of imposing brick buildings and barracks became known as the Kara osta (war port) during the first Latvian republic and is now simply called Karosta. The Soviets also used the base and left their mark in typical fashion in the form of ugly concrete apartment blocks surrounding the soaring Orthodox Cathedral, many of which are now abandoned. If you’ve got plenty of time then you can cover the area on foot, but we recommend a bicycle tour. For more information about this intriguing destination visit karostascietums.lv/en/.