Riga's Unlikeliest Statues

12 Jun 2018

You haven’t been to Riga unless you’ve seen the Freedom Monument and if you’re interested in Latvian history we can recommend a dozen other statues and monuments of important Rigans that should be visited. Yet, oddly enough, the Latvian capital, for some reason, has honoured several international luminaries who have little or no connection to the city as well as some unlikely foreigners who have made their mark on the 800-year-old metropolis. You’ll probably be surprised to know that Englishmen, Scots and even ancient Uzbeks have their own statues in the heart of the city.

Mirzo Ulugbek (AKA Ulugh Beg)
The ruler of vast swathes of Central Asia including parts of present-day Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and grandson of the (in)famous Timur (or Tamerlane), Ulugh Beg (1394 - 1449) was also a famous mathematician and astronomer in his day. In fact, he built the Islamic world’s largest observatory in Samarkand. Today you can take a gander at his fierce, yet learned visage on the left bank of the Riga canal near the pedestrian bridge in the Kronvalds Park. The bronze statue on a red granite pedestal was a gift from the Embassy of Uzbekistan.


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