Curiosities about Latvija (I)

Laimas pulkstenis (Riga)

From now on I’ll be posting up some of the curios things I have come across since I moved to Latvija almost two weeks ago. There are plenty of them, so I hope you get to know the country better through these lines.

I’ll be starting with something I found out in the capital Riga. Have you ever noticed that locals have a special or certain place where they meet up in city centre? It’s true, no matter where you are, just have a look around and get mixed with locals. I bet you will discover wonderful things!

Going back to the meeting point… Like many and many other cities, Riga has also this place where people meet up. Even if they do not know each other. Its name is Laimas pulkstenis – Laima’s watch – and it is located just in front of the Brīvības piemineklis – Freedom Monument.

Laimas pulkstenis - meeting point

Believe it or not, tourist guides do stop by the watch and tell the bunch of avid photographers that this place is where Latvians usually meet in old town. They nod, take some pictures and keep walking.

But there is also a story behind this watch and due to my thirst of curiosity I have asked around to find out more about it.

It is one of the most popular symbols in Riga and it was set up in 1924. It’s main purpose back then was to help Latvians to be on time for work. It took 12 more years for the Latvian chocolate factory Laima to put its name on it. The watch survived WWII and in 1999 the famous sweet company refurbished it in order to give the watch the same look it had back in 1936.

I set up some of my meetings in Riga there and I would recommend to anybody visiting Latvija to spend some time around it, for you can have a wonderful sight of some of the main monuments in the city.

Besides, the chances to be approach by someone randomly and be asked whether you are the very person they are waiting for are quite high. They could become your next friend, they could have an interesting story behind… You never know…


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