Have you been to Riga yet? Well, then you probably arrived by car, by ferry or most likely by plane, entering the city at Riga’s modern and shiny new airport in the north of the city.
But if you want to dive deep into history, go to Spilves lidlauks (the airfield of Spilve) and have a look at the old Soviet airport. Originally built in the 1920s, the Soviet authorities rebuilt the airport after Latvia to became part of the USSR at the end of World War II. Spilve Airport was richly decorated with working class paintings and communist symbols. And, obviously, all the writings became bilingual, adding Russian next to Latvia.
Spilve Airport may nowadays be forgotten, but all the old symbols are still there and will throw you right out of time back to the socialist past in Latvia.
The future use of Spilve Airport in Riga is recently discussed. Sometimes art exhibitions take place here, sometimes the airfield is used for festivals. For the nearer future, the city is planning to open a museum of aircraft history. But who knows, the place might as well stay in its recent decaying sleep.
If you want to enjoy the full experience of this lost place in Riga, make sure you catch a day with the old terminal building open (for exhibition, i.e.), as it is normally closed. For transport: Bus No. 3 from the central station will bring you to Spilve. For your way back just have a walk and explore the other side of the river, Pardaugava, where Spilve Airport is located.
Address: Daugavgrivas iela 140, 1007 Riga