A message for future generations has been encapsulated during the restoration works of the Riga Castle
Construction and restoration works are actively taking place in the oldest section of Riga Castle to adapt it to the needs of the National History Museum of Latvia. By honouring traditions of the construction industry, a capsule with a message for our future society was embedded today in the walls of Riga Castle's Castellum. The capsule was placed inside the historic walls — an area reserved for a vestibule-visitor reception desk when the National History Museum of Latvia will return to its home.
Preserving historic heritage, emphasizing Riga Castle as an important historic landmark and creating space for a modern museum are the goals for the construction and restoration works of Riga Castle's Castellum. To complete the necessary tasks and give way for the National History Museum of Latvia to come back to its historic home, start settling in and opening its expositions to the public by 2024, the first-stage restoration works are currently being executed with respect to the state budget allowance as a part of the whole large-scale building reconstruction project of Riga Castle's Convent (Castellum).
The renovation of the Castellum is under State Real Estate's (SRE) management. All renovation works are going according to plan. The stage I and II construction works are being carried out parallelly to effectively move forward with the project.
The walls, ceilings and vault surfaces are being cleaned and reinforced, reinforced concrete communication channels are being built in the basement, as well as large-scale restoration works. Ground works are currently taking place in the courtyard and basement of the historic area. Demolition processes are taking place in other areas, in some cases even creating more space for future premises. Metal beams are being assembled above the Chapel and Remter (Remteris). Walls, ceilings and vault surfaces are being cleaned and reinforced, concrete communication channels are being built on the basement level, and large-scale restoration works are taking place as we speak.
At the same time, any cracks on the load-bearing structures or facade, as well as roof load-bearing structures are getting reinforced by using a prosthetic method. Sub-layers are being created for the Chapel in order to move forward with retouching and glazing to approach the original tonality and texture of the vault wall historical whitewash. As a result of these processes, the approximate visual appearance of the final result can already be seen at this stage.
Many different household items were found during the excavation, demolishing and ground works, for example — fragments from historic interior elements that date back to the 17-19th century era, various tableware items, bottles, stationery, as well as historic manuscripts and parts from printed articles. These discoveries have been passed on to the National History Museum of Latvia for further inspection. AS “LNK Industries” is responsible for executing phase I and II construction works of the Riga Castle Castellum with the state budget financing secured by the Ministry of Culture. The value of the AS “LNK Industries” contract is 12,43 mln euros (without VAT). In the Autumn of 2020, SRE symbolically handed over the key of the Riga Castle to mark the beginning of its reconstruction.
Kaspars Ratkevičs, board member of AS “LNK Industries” was the one to put a spirit level in the time capsule: "A spirit level is a vital tool in every construction object. As we know, the higher the building, the harder it is to constantly make sure it hasn't drifted away from the point of reference. By placing the spirit level in this capsule, we want to certify that the restoration works at the Riga Castle are in line with the highest standards in the construction industry, as well as a wish for future generations to find solid foundations for their values and regard them as the reference points for realizing personal, state and international projects."
Restoration of Riga Castle's Castellum is made in line with the construction project PS “Project of the Castellum of Riga Castle”, its author — architect Reinis Liepiņš.
The total area of Riga Castle Castellum's construction project is 11,9 thousand square meters, out of which 6,7 thousand square meters are currently being renovated. Out of this area — 4,4 thousand sq. m will be commissioned. The rest (5,2 thousand sq. m) will not be renovated in phases I and II, they will be realized in the latter phases of the Castle's restoration.