MĀRA OF LATGALE
Location: N56° 30` 50.8", E27° 19` 59.8"
At the beginning of the 1920, Latvian war for Independence was finally coming to an end. From the 3rd January, 1920, until 1st February, 1920, Latvian army, together with Polish army units realized operation “Winter,” in which result the Red army units were forced to leave Latgale. During this operation from the 20th until 26th of January in fierce battles Latvian army Kurzeme division and Baltic Landeswehr also liberated Rēzekne, where Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic government building was located.
Latvia liberation monument is considered as the symbol of Rēzekne, which is also called Māra of Latgale. The monument is considered to be one of the most significant monumental sculpture examples in Latvia, and its dramatic destiny describes the impetuous history of the 20th century. The monument was for the first time revealed on the 8th September, 1939. Its author was sculptor Leons Tomasickis. The monument was made by sculptor Kārlis Jansons, and in bronze it was founded in Finland. Bronze made monumental composition reveals the idea of fight for freedom against unknown forces, also revealing nation efforts to create and guard its country – Latvia. Central woman image with a cross in her raised hand and the writing “United for Latvia” symbolises Latgale liberated from Bolshevik power in January, 1920. Character of Māre in national mythology personalizes the idea of land fertility and protector of life. The cross symbolizes Christianity. Sculptural group praises the heroic fight time at the beginning of formation of Latvia country.
The monument was torn down at the beginning of occupation – November of 1940. It was renewed during the WW II, on 22nd August, 1943, but it was torn down for the second time by Soviet authority instances in June, 1950. The destiny of the torn-down monument is unknown. The idea about reiterative renewing of the monument was mentioned only in 1989 during the time of Latvia independence recovery. The monument was renewed with help of donations from the nation, and it was renewed by Andrejs Jansons who was the son of the deceased sculptor Kārlis Jansons. The monument was revealed for the second time in 13th August, 1992.