Pa Latvijas CeļiemAlong Latvia's Roads, postcard set, ca. 1960

Postcard folder

This set was certainly meant to extol both the scenery of Latvia as well as road building progress under the Soviet system—judging by the popularity of highway overpasses. With the occasional car or bus wending its way towards its destination, it's a bit like a Soviet version of the 1960's television commercial of the same era inviting us to "See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet!"

Still, there is a feeling of green unspoiled countryside, the charm of neatly tree-lined roads (with no mention it was Karlis Ulmanis' beautification project), and a sense of portraying Latvia's scenery at its best. And always those expansive blue skies and billowing white clouds.

The set was originally published by the «Liesma» publishing house, priced at 3 kapekas (kopecks) for a single card, or 51 kapekas for the entire set. Being that descriptions of the pictures are printed in Latvian, Russian, French, and English on each card, these were definitely meant for the tourist trade—fuzzy pictures, cheap paper and all. The set is nearly intact, only 3 of the 16 cards are missing. We're hoping to eventually find the rest.

The set were originally a birthday gift from Māra, Silvija's mother's close friend going back to Latvian, that is, pre-Soviet, times.

Sveiciens dzimšanas dienā, no Māras
Greetings on your birthday, from Mara

Atkal viens gadu slieksnis
Un atkal sākas, kas bijis
Nolīs pār pēleku sniegu
Tāds pats lietus, kāds jau ir lījis.

No sniegiem, varbūt no visa
Paliek tikai — nekas...
Atkal nāk pavasaris naivais
Un tomēr labi ir tas.

 

Another threshold of another year
It all starts over again
And on the gray snows will rain
The same rain, that already fell.

Of the snows, perhaps of everything
Remains only — nothing...
Once again naive Spring arrives
And it is good, for all that.

A. Strauss

It's customary for Latvians to inscribe a gift with a poem to mark its time and place in one's life: that of the giver, of the receiver, often both—and so, hope eternal under Soviet rule... Spring, not knowing or caring what went before, ignorant of the present, comes once more. And it is good, for all that.

An internet search turned up another of J. Opmanis' images preserved at zudusilatvija.lv ("Lost Latvia"), a project of Latvijas Nacionālā bibliotēka, the Latvian National Library. While another "along the roads" image, it does not appear to be part of this set.
Click on a thumbnail to view the picture. Mouse over the either side of the picture and click to navigate or use the left/right arrow keys.

Riga-Daugavpils Highway near Skriveri, 1st card of set

Highway Kangari-Ergli, 2nd card of set

Skaistkalne-Viesite Highway, 5th card of set

Riga-Pskov Highway, 6th card of set

Riga-Pskov Highway near Balozi, 7th card of set

Highway near Murjani, 8th card of set

Cart-road near Vestiena, 9th card of set

Riga-Pskov Highway near Rauna, 10th card of set

Latgale cart-road, 11th card of set

Riga-Moscow Highway near Iksile, 12th card of set

By Sigulda, 13th card of set

Highway near Cesis, 14th card of set

Road to Raiskums, 16th card of set
...Timeline...Abrene Fold-outAbrene Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Abrene women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. Augšzeme Fold-outAugšzeme Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Augšzeme women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. Krustpils Fold-outKrustpils Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Krustpils women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. Latgale Fold-outLatgale Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Latgale women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. Nīca Fold-outNīca Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Nīca women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. Along Latvia's RoadsPa Latvijas Ceļiem (Along Latvia's Roads), ca. 1960. Soviet era postcards ala "See the USA in your Chevrolet." (Soviet) RīgaRīga, ca. 1960. Soviet fold-out of post-card sized images of Rīga. Captioned in eight (!) languages and extolling the benefits, virtues, and accomplishments of the Soviet occupation "era." Smiltene Fold-outSmiltene Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Smiltene women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. Latvia and the Latvians"Attitudes of the Major Soviet Nationalities, Latvia and the Latvians", Frederic T. Harned, 1973. Part of a wider set of studies on all the peoples of the Soviet Union. The study was a project of M.I.T.'s Center for International Studies. Soviet Aggression Against the Baltic StatesSoviet Aggression Against the Baltic States. Augusts Rumpēters. The World Federation of Free Latvians, New York. 1974. Augusts Rumpēters (1899-1978) served in the Supreme Court Senate of the Republic of Latvia. His cogent and superbly annotated dissertation provides pertinent counterpoint to those who continue to insist the Baltics joined the USSR willingly and legally. How Stalin Got the Baltic StatesHow Stalin Got the Baltic States—The Search for Historical Truth. Dr. Vilnis V. Šveics, 1989. Professor Vilnis V. Šveics' concise and revelatory monograph on the descent of the Baltic states into Soviet domination conclusively documents that the image of France, Britain, and the United States as champions of Baltic independence is a post-WWII fiction.
"Pa Latvijas Ceļiem" was published during the Soviet era. Photographs attributed to J. Opmanis. Our reproduction for informational, educational, and research purposes qualifies under Latvian Copyright Law §20. and §21.

Site contents copyright © 2017, S.A. and P. Vecrumba. All Rights Reserved. Wikipedia™, external site and Google Translate™ links are provided for convenience and do not constitute endorsement of, affiliation with, or responsibility for such content.

We use cookies to assist in context-sensitive navigation. By accessing our site, you agree to the placement if this type of cookie on your computer or mobile device. We do not share user information with third parties.

Please Email us at contact@latvians.com with comments or questions. We look forward to your feedback.

Center for Baltic Heritage is a LATVIANS.COM project.