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Monument for liberators of Jelgava city

Location: N56° 38` 28.9", E23° 43` 49.6" | Website: elgava.lv/apskates-objekti/ves...-lacplesis

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Jelgava liberation operation planned by Latvian army headquarters leader, general Pēteris Radziņš ir the only wide range military campaign during the war of independence of Latvia, realized only by Latvian army unit without a support from the allies. Together with Jelgava occupation on 21st of November, fights with Bermont army were ended. Small collisions between attacking Latvian army vanguards and enemy rearguards were happening during the next days. The victory was so complete that the enemy left Zemgale and Kurzeme very fast, leaving behind many different war trophies.

The monument for Jelgava liberators “Lāčplēsis and the Black knight” made by Kārlis Jansos was revealed in 22nd of June, 1932. The monument was placed near the train station, and the President of the Republic of Latvia – Alberts Kviesis was participating in the opening. The monument which was built from the money donated by Jelgava citizens had not only artistic, but also historical value; the sculptor cut the figure in 3.5m high gray granite. The sculpture is placed on a 3m high pedestal coated with a bluish gray granite tiles. The monument did not suffer during the first Soviet occupation but after the German occupation baron von Medem who was the general commissar of Jelgava did not like the unmistakable symbolism about the black knight – German, so he ordered to forge down the shape of the Black knight.

So transformed it experience the dreadful destruction of Jelgava city during the WW II and it stood in its old place many more years after the war until during the Stalin personality cult time in 1951 the “dedication to white guard” was taken away. The monument was buried, but its fragment was found after several attempts and in 1988 it has been placed near Jelgava history and arts museum. The monument is located in square of the train station, and it was opened in 21st of November, 1992. Its author (architect G.Meimanis and sculptor R.Kalniņa-Grīnberga) is sculptor Andrejs Jansons who is the son of the sculptor Kārlis Jansons.