History of the museum
Original roots of Latvian War museum are connected with events of the World War I on the territory of Latvia, with the creation of national military unit – the battalion of Latvian Riflemen had been a part of Russian Czar’s army in 1915. The museum started to work as Riflemen Museum in 1916. During Latvian independence till 1940 mentioned museum had been under the supervision of the War Ministry. Starting from 1919 the museum had been located in the Riga’s ancient Powder tower. The main target of the museums work had been reflection of the national fight for freedom and independence, building of national self-acknowledgement, increasing of love to the Fatherland in museum expositions. Were created expositions - Medieval and Modern history, Latvians participation in the revolution in Russia in 1905, World War I events, Proclamation of independence of Latvia, Liberation fights, state foundation. The museum had rich collections of weapons, photos, documents, medals, military uniform dresses and other collections.
In 1937 was started respectable Powder tower annex building, finished in 1940. New premises had no possibility to start working, due to Soviet Union occupied the Latvian territories on the 17th of June 1940. War museum of Latvia had been removed as well as all institutions in Latvia. Part of the museum collections have been lost, other part have been given to another museums and archives.
From 1957 the museum of the Revolution in the Soviet Republic of Latvia, which introduced ideological opinion of Soviet authority about the 20th century history of Latvia, had been located in the building. However, the museum, in it working period, has been gathered valuable, Soviet system characterized collections. The War museum has been recovered in 1990, due to beginning of Latvia independence restoration processes. The museum target is to open to the society complicate military-political history of Latvia, specially accentuate the 20th century, when Latvians had twice fought back their independence.