'Milda,' as she is affectionately known, was unveiled in 1935 and is a national shrine for Latvians. Designed by Kārlis Zāle, the friezes around the base of the sculpture depict Latvians singing, working and fighting for their freedom, while the three stars in the maiden's hands represent the three historical regions of the country: Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale. Locals are always placing flowers at the base of the monument, an act for which people were deported to Siberia in Soviet times. When the weather is favourable the honour guard changes every hour on the hour from 09:00 - 18:00. They also 'stretch their legs’ every half hour.
On the day we visited the monument and the parks on either side of it were filled with couples getting married. The monument and the parks make a great background for their wedding photos.