Ancient School

permanent exhibition

in short

The exhibition gives an overview on the establishment of an education system in Latvia from the 13th century until today.
Ancient School - view into the exhibition

Visitor entrance

National History Museum of Latvia
Brīvības bulvāris 32
LV 1050 Riga

Detailed information about the museum on

Latvijas Nacionālais vēstures muzejs

in detail

The first school in Latvia was established in the early 13th century at the Dom Church in Riga, and was intended for training the clergy. In 1353, the St Peter’s Church School was established, for the children of the Riga burghers. The first school for the Latvians of Riga was established in the 16th century at the Church of St James. Schools were provided for peasant children only in the late 17th century in Swedish-ruled Livland, while in Courland and Latgale Latvian schools opened only in the 18th century. A widespread practice was home tuition supervised by the pastors, children obtaining their first reading skills in the home.

The schools for peasant children were usually in adapted premises (threshing-barns, parish halls and inns), where the teacher taught children of various ages in a single schoolroom. Often, the children ate and slept here too, because many lived at school for the whole week. Thus, the long school benches were also adapted for sleeping.

After the annexation of the territory of Latvia to the Russian Empire, schools were placed under the supervision of the Russian Ministry of Education, After 1880 a Russification policy was introduced: not only was teaching in the children’s native language prohibited, but they were not even allowed to talk among themselves in their own language. After the attainment of independence, the new Latvian state gave great attention to education. It was ruled that all children of school age must attend school, and that teaching should be in the pupils’ native language. There were many children’s and youth organisations: the scouts, guides, mazpulki, etc.

After independence was lost, the educational system was changed. Teaching was now organised according to Marxist-Leninist principles, in order to educate the new members of communist society. Playing an important role in the communist indoctrination of the young generation were children’s and youth organisations: the Children of October, Pioneers and Young Communists.
adults – 3.00 EUR
students, senior – 1,50 EUR
children – 0,75EUR
Family ticket (1-2 adults and 1-2 children) – 4.00 EUR

(1 hour):
Latvian – 8.00 EUR
English and Russian – 15.00 EUR
The exhibition venue on google maps:


Opening Times

10:00 - 17:00
10:00 - 17:00
11:00 - 17:00
10:00 - 17:00
10:00 - 17:00
10:00 - 17:00
Closed on public holidays: 1st January, Good Friday, Easter, 4th May, Ligo holidays (23 to 24th June), 18th November, Christmas Days (25th-26th December), 31st December. - The exhibition portal for Europe