Safeguarding Latvian cultural heritage in partnership

EEA Grants from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, are being used to restore the oldest wooden synagogue in the Baltics.

Rezekne 3

Rezekne is in the heart of the Latgale province in eastern Latvia and the home town of the oldest wooden synagogue in the Baltics, the ‘Green Synagogue’. The Green Synagogue will be restored by Latvian and Norwegian students. The synagogue is the last remaining synagogue of 11 synagogues in Rezekne.

For the next two years, four different groups of Norwegian construction students from Sam Eyde upper secondary school will go to Rezekne for a week to help restore the building. Local students from Rezekne will restore the windows in the Synagogue. Together they will be exchanging experiences on restoration and craft techniques and artisanship. The project also aims to increase the knowledge of wood restoration techniques to enable further restoration projects of other wooden buildings in Rezekne.

Read more about the project here!

When the restoration is completed, the Green Synagogue will function as a centre for the conservation of wooden buildings and act as a tourist information centre.

Students and teachers

The project was officially launched on 2 April 2014. The chairman of Rezekne city council, staff from the Norwegian Embassy, students and teachers were all present at the launch.

Students Even Berge, Kristin Torgersen, Kevin Penner and Laila Armane opened the restoration project, © The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Riga

Participants in the project include students and teachers from Sam Eyde upper secondary school from Arendal (Norway) and Luznava vocational school, the technical school in Vilanu, Rezekne art school and local artisans from the Latgale province.

The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage participates in the project as counsellor.

The restoration of the Green Synagogue in Rezekne is estimated to cost €711 000, out of which 85% is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, 10% by the Latvian Ministry of Culture and 5 % by the Rezekne municipality.

See the video on YouTube.

Read more about the Latvian ‘Conservation and Revitalisation of Cultural and Natural Heritage’ programme here

Read more about Latvian programmes and projects on the Latvian country page