Barikadopēdija details history of Latvia’s steps to renewed freedom

Barikadopēdija, an online encyclopedia examining the history of the barricades movement in Latvia, opened Jan. 19 at

The Latvian-language site is built as a Wiki. Members of the public eventually will be able to add their memories to the collection of text, photographs, audio and video material, according to the website.

Led by Editor Andrejs Cīrulis, Barikadopēdija provides a timeline-driven look into the Third National Awakening period of the late 1980s and early 1990s that led to the restoration of independent Latvia. The barricades, set up by civilians in January 1991 in Rīga and other cities to defend institutions from feared attacks by Soviet forces, were part of a broader indpendence movement.

Latvia formally broke away from the Soviet Union in August 1991.

The Barikadopēdija site features an interactive timeline stretching from 1985-1991. As users click on specific months, they reveal details on important events in the independence movement. Unfortunately, on a smaller computer screen some of the longer lists are cut off at the bottom.

A navigation menu allows readers to drill down for further details about specific categories from aviācija (aviation) to žurnālistika (journalism); themes, such as the activities of Latvians abroad; places; individuals; and organizations. For now, the details come mostly from articles in the Latvian press of the period.

Among material already available on the site are photographs of the independence movement by noted Latvian photojournalist Uldis Briedis, as well as video from a January 2011 conference on memories of barricades participants, during which Cīrulis first talked about the idea for Barikadopēdija.

In the near future material also will be available in English and Russian, Eduards Cauna, the site’s development director, told Latvians Online in an email.

Barikadopēdija is supported by the Barikadopēdijas fonds, which is seeking donations for its work to continue.


The Barikadopēdija site provides information on the history of Latvia’s renewed independence.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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