1954. The Seaside Open Air Museum was founded in 1954 to preserve the heritage of the seaside fishing village. The collection of the museum includes more than 20,000 objects and reflects the life of Latvian and Libyan farmers and fishermen. About 600 exhibits are placed for viewing in the indoor and outdoor exposition (total area 4.8 ha). The largest of them is a mill, the smallest is a needle for sewing floats to the net.
Currently, it is the only open-air museum in Latvia dedicated to fishing, with fishermen’s homesteads, granaries and windmills from Užava parish, smokehouses, smokehouses, net huts and other exhibits typical of the construction and life of the region.
In an area of 4 ha, you will find an extensive sea boat collection and the largest anchor collection in the Baltics with 152 exhibits dating from the 17th century to present day. At the Seaside Park you can enjoy the Enkuru taka (Anchor trail) which is formed of the biggest anchors.
One of the most notable exhibits of the Seaside Open-Air Museum are two Ml steam locomotives Ml-611 (property of the LDz museum) and Ml-631, 600 mm narrow-gauge railway Mazbānīši – steam engine locomotives with carriages, which still in the 20th century. In the 1960s, they ran regularly between seaside fishing villages. The steam engine was built in Germany in 1916; it weighs 9 tons and can reach a speed of 20 km per hour. From 1st May to 31st October the narrow gauge train Mazbānītis takes tourists not only around the 1.3km long route in the Seaside Park (Riņķa līnija), but also travels on the new Mountain Line (Kalna līnija).
There regularly take place large and atractive events, such as international Museum Day, Day of Crafts on Ventspils city festival, Parishe’s Festivities, as well as Latvian traditional holidays and the Slavic Shrovetide day “Masļeņica”.
A new acquisition of the Seaside Open-Air Museum is the Smiltnieku House. This typical late 19th century suburban dwelling, because of its level of preservation, is a unique example in Ventspils, as well as in all of Latvia, of urban construction. The Smiltnieku House was built in Parventa in 1874, on land awarded for participating in the Russo- Turkish War, by the grandfather of the house’s owner, Valentina Žūka.
In the seaside open-air museum there is the Lielirbe Baptist prayer house, which houses an exposition on the history of the Baptist movement in Ventspils region and Latvia. The premises are used for religious ceremonies of various denominations (weddings, baptisms, etc.), ecumenical services, as well as thematic events, art and collection exhibitions, spiritual concerts.
High-quality architectural boat house designed to host an exhibition of a wide range of fishing equipment of the museum, including 21 fishing boats and items related to fishing, thus allowing for an insight into the daily life of fishermen and the course of development of fishing industry in North Kurzeme.
2.00 EUR or 1.60 EUR + 40 venti. Day ticket for all museums: EUR 5.00
For children in school, students, pensioners:
1.00 EUR or 0.70 EUR + 30 venti. Day ticket to all museums: 2.50 EUR.
4.00 EUR or 3.10 + 90 venti. Day ticket for all museums: EUR 10.00 (2 adults + 1 to 5 children)
Free of charge:
for a disabled person of group I and his accompanying person;
for a disabled person of II group;
For preschool children;
For every 16th visitor of the group (15+1; 30+2; 45+3)