National Library of Latvia

If wandering through the Old Town of Riga, it is impossible to miss the iconic edifice on the opposite bank of the river Daugava: the new National Library of Latvia building, known also as the Castle of Light.

The library is a symbol of knowledge. It proclaims the importance of aspiring to gain even higher levels of knowledge, this being the reward for those committed to reaching the peak despite the challenge of getting there. The National Library symbolizes not only the memory and knowledge of the nation, but is also a forum for exchanging new experiences and culture.

The architect of the building is the internationally acclaimed Latvian-born architect Gunārs Birkerts (born 1925), whose ideas have taken shape in the form of outstanding buildings in the USA and other countries.

The Castle of Light is a unique building visually and emotionally. It is a physical shelter for books and a spiritual and emotional home for Latvian identity and the whole of our society.

The Castle of Light in numbers:

  • August 2014: opening of the new National Library of Latvia.
  • Height: 68,3 meters.
  • 14 floors (including the basement).
  • Total floor area: 42 733 m2.

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