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Salaspils Stone Head (Salaspils akmens galva)

Location
State:
Latvia
Region:
Riga
Town:
Riga
Other references to the location
Initial location of the stone head is not known, the original head is in the crossgallery of Riga Dome Church, a replica of the head is on the Livs’ Square in Rīga.
Coordinates
lat=56.9486111111, lon=24.1044444444
56° 56' 54" N, 24° 6' 15" E
Description

In the autumn of 1851 at the road between Salaspils and

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Ikšķile a stone head was found. Later it was sold to a stonecutter from Riga P. Hāke, who, in his turn, presented Himsel’s museum with it. The stone is cut in the form of a human head, however, with expressive face features – eyes, eye-brows, ears, nose, mouth and decoratively bent lines which marked hair curls. After cleaning the stone from moss and lichen the stone sculpture was carefully drawn and measured. The height of the sculpture cut in granite exceeded 930 mm, width - 855 mm, thickness - 655 mm and weight - around 1906 Russian pounds, i.e., approximately 780 kilograms. The sculpture shows high professional capacity, however, no historic art and architecture styles are visible there. After 1876 the sculpture disappeared and it’s very likely that during the wide-scope improvements in the yard of the Dome Cathedral the sculpture was buried there. In autumn, year 2000 during the archeological excavations guided by archeologist Andris Celmiņš in the Dome Garden the stone head was found anew. Various judgements were expressed about the stone head, starting from the stone head being an image of the Livs’ idol up to the point that it is a falsification of later times. There is a similar range of different opinions regarding its chronology. Salaspils stone head is unique in Baltics, however, its dating has not been established and its sacral character is only one of the possibilities. At the same time, it is known that all – the Balts, Baltic Finns and Slavs had idol images in the form of a human head, therefore the interpretation of the Salaspils stone head as an ancient idol image is rather possible. The original Salaspils stone head with the respective explanatory text is placed in the cross gallery of the Dome Cathedral and its replica is placed in the Livs’ Square of Riga.

Narrative

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Attraction
Attractive
Availability
A replica is freely accessible in the Livs’ Square
Infrastructure, management, facilities
Surrounded by well-organized infrastructure because the site is located in the city centre.
Local info
There is
Capacity
41 and more
Publicity
Known
Legal Status
Legal Entities
Comments
A depiction of Salaspils stone head with a text on a plate that the narration in several languages can be received by phone is located on Livs’ Square in the Old Town of Riga.
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