Latvia nominates Grobina archaeological ensemble for UNESCO World Heritage List

  • 2020-01-16
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvia has nominated the Grobina archaeological ensemble for the UNESCO World Heritage List, Culture Ministry spokeswoman Dace Vizule informed LETA.

Today, Culture Minister Nauris Puntulis (National Alliance) signed the nomination application in the presence of Juris Dambis, head of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, archaeologist Juris Urtans, Grobina mayor Aivars Priedols (Farmers' Union of Latvia) and representatives of UNESCO's Latvian National Commission. 

Vizule said that the signing of the nomination completed a decade of researching and highlighting Latvia's archaeological heritage, which has resulted in a new entry. The archaeological ensemble in the southwestern Latvian town of Grobina is a unique and well-preserved testimony of cultural ties between pre-Viking era Scandinavians and local tribes (Curonians). 

"There is a great event ahead - all the necessary preparations have been completed for our country to nominate one more cultural-historical site for the UNESCO World Heritage List. This has been a work of many years involving professionals from various spheres," said Puntulis. 

Grobina archaeological ensemble is situated in the southwestern part of Latvia not far from the Baltic Sea and the port city of Liepaja, in the territory of Grobina town and its vicinity. The first inhabitants settled there already in the Stone Age. Later in the first millennium AD Grobina became a center of the West Baltic tribe Curonians. In the 7th century Norsemen arrived in the territory of today's Gribina where they developed agrarian and international trade settlements. 

At that time Grobina was connected to the Baltic Sea by the Alande River. The Norsemen communicated with local Curonians and established a peculiar form of ethnic symbiosis represented in artifacts, dwelling sites and burials. Up to the 9th century AD an important Norsemen, Viking and Curonian proto-urban settlement existed in Grobina.