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“PIKŠAS” – NATIVE HOME OF KĀRLIS ULMANIS

Location: N56° 39` 34.8", E23° 28` 46.1" | Website: piksas.lv/

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Almost in the very centre of Latvia between Jelgava and Dobele a memorial museum “Pikšas” is located, which is a memorial museum for the one of the founders of Latvia country, first Ministry President of Latvia and the last President of pre-war Latvia – Kārlis Ulmanis. “Pikšas” is an old farm in Zemgale, where on the 4th of September, 1877 in family of Lizete and Indriķis Ulmaņi the third son was born – Kārlis, who later started his school days here and later in “Pikšas” farm he tried out different projects he had seen while studying in the USA and later realised them in Latvia. The modern farming technique available at that time was also tried out in afield here. Ulmaņi family left their home after the Soviet occupation, but the buildings were nationalized with all the belongings there and the farm was transformed into horse and machine lease point.

Museum was established in 1993. In “Pikšas” there is a well organized surrounding landscape and anew constructed buildings which were destroyed or were in a bad shape. A living and economic building, cattle-shed, shed and a granary can be seen here. “Black” kitchen of farmer farmstead of the 19th century can be seen in the museum, modern technique of the 30-ies of the 20th century – trucks, combines and other technique, and also the biggest butter making wooden tub in Latvia. “Pikšas” have become richer with one more building during the previous year – former economic building has been renewed with the co-financing from the European Union, where it is planned to install an exposition about the dairying development during Ulmanis period in Latvia.

There is an exposition in the buildings which has been dedicated to the life of K.Ulmanis and also a rich collection of equipment and tools usable in the agriculture. The mission of the museum is to “promote” patriotism and Latvian habits and ethical values between Latvian youth by promoting “Pikšas” as an exemplary country farm of the 20ies – 30ies of the 20th century and a unique Awakening time monument for Latvia statesman Kārlis Ulmanis created after the initiative from the nation.

The renewed building and created exposition is giving wide information on K.Ulmanis contribution in formation and development of the country and it also gives an opportunity to understand the development process of the agriculture during 1918-1940. Museum exposition gives wide information about the social life and work in Zemgale countryside during the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, and it gives an opportunity to look at countryside tools. A lot of energy and strength in the development of the museum has been given by its perennial manager Gunārs Ulmanis. He is also the author of the paintings seen in the museum.