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CHRISTMAS BATTLES MUSEUM

Location: N56° 49` 47.4", E23° 42` 6.75" | Website: karamuzejs.lv/lv/zm.aspx

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Christmas battles and the following January fights were happening from January 5, 1917 (or December 23rd, 1916 after the old time counting style) until 4th of February. It was the biggest Russian army military operation during the WW I in Riga front, where Latvian riflemen had the role as the most important striking force. The remains of the fortification buildings on the Christmas battle site forms a unique military fortification ensemble in Baltic scale, but fortifications around Mangaļi house were built as especially powerful fortification knot. In Christmas battle sector Germans had two of them – Ložmetējkalns and Mangaļi region. Approximately 700m from “Mangaļi” house there is 1.Latvian riflemen brigade German front breach place where Christmas battles were started on 5th of January, 1917 (23tdof December, 1916 after the old time). A memorial plate was placed here on the 6th of January, 1993 – a 6m tall sword made from pine wood, symbolising German protection line which was cut through with a sword of the riflemen.

Latvian War museum branch “Christmas battle museum” was formed in 2005. Unique fortification elements of the WW I field have been preserved in the territory of the museum, which are connected with the legendary Christmas battles. Fortification system section has been reconstructed in the authentic place of the Christmas battle museum open-air exposition – a bunker and a part of the German protection first lines – “German rampart” which is the only one of this kind of an object in Baltic States.

It is possible to see an exposition “Latvian riflemen Christmas battles” inside of the museum. More than 200 pictures, battle schemes and items found around Tīreļi bog give interesting historical evidences about the events of that time. It is possible to see the biggest battle model in Latvia where several square kilometres of the Christmas battle territory with the war fortifications of the WW I are shown. Popularity of the museum is increasing each year. 15 000 interested people have visited the museum in 2015.