House of Aspasia


A small building on two floors, made of wood, with a remarkable façade of sky blue, with an enchanting carved finish in the color of azure - this is how the famous Aspasia House looks like. Finding him is not so difficult. The house is located near Jurmala, in a village named Dubulti. This is a whole settlement of buildings similar to the house of Aspasia, which since the first half of the nineteenth century have snugly settled along the entire coast.

The crowbar is named after the famous Latvian poetess, whose real name is Johanna Emilia Lisette Rosenberg (Pliekshan). She was born in 1868 in the Zaleniek region on a hotter called Dauknas.

Aspazia’s husband was no less famous than the poetess. Jan Rainis was also a poet. Aspasia was not only a muse inspiring her husband to write talented poems, but she was also his strictest critic and, concurrently, secretary. Aspazia met her future husband in 1894. By that time it was already quite popular - the plays written by her were actively staged in the Riga Drama Theater. The plays were received with a bang by the public, however, due to the overly revealing nature of their works, Aspazia was fired from the theater with a scandal. Being a talented playwright and poet, Aspazia urged women to fight for their place in the sun on an equal footing with men, to challenge the existing public morality, which treated women as second-rate creatures.

A year after meeting, inspired Janis releases his first collection of poems.

Like his wife, Rainis sharply criticized the existing social inequality, as a result of which he was severely repressed by the authorities. When he was arrested, Aspazia wrote letters to him daily in the hope of alleviating the suffering of her beloved.

Their marriage was surprisingly happy, but talented spouses had to go through quite a few in their lifetime. However, exile links soon gave way to world-wide fame. Aspazia’s talent will remain somewhat in the shadow of her husband’s talent, excessive love for her husband will not allow the poetess to fully reveal. However, for a moment the poetess did not regret it.

The famous house of Aspasia was acquired by her after the death of Janis. This happened in 1933. From noisy Riga, Aspazia decided to move to a small village, so similar to the farm of her childhood. Aspasia lived here for about ten years. She was never left by Annushka, the housekeeper of a talented couple, who became practically a member of the family. This house turned into a real abode of talents - poets, musicians, poems often gathered here, and creative evenings were arranged. However, Aspazia still could not escape being alone in her last three years of her life. On November 5, 1943, the great Latvian poetess died.

Gradually, the house of Aspasia began to degenerate. Having passed under the control of local authorities, the house began to deteriorate, it was not being repaired, and soon many valuable things began to disappear from it. Since the house is located in a suburban settlement, new residents for the summer settled in it every year. However, not interested in its history, constantly changing tenants brought the house into a terrible state.

This continued until the nineties of the nineteenth century, when, at the initiative of the Latvian intelligentsia, the house began to be rebuilt and reconstructed. Many fans of Aspazia, on their own, began to recreate the atmosphere of those times in the house. Appearance, interior painstakingly recreated from photographs, memories, stories of witnesses.

It took six years to reconstruct the house, after which in 1996 the Museum of Aspazia was solemnly opened in it. Many things of those years were collected by the residents of Jurmala and Riga on their own.

Today, Aspazia’s house regularly hosts art exhibitions, and all excursions end with traditional tea drinking. The house has an incredible atmosphere of comfort and coziness, so it is definitely worth a visit.

Photo and description

Aspaziya's House is a small wooden two-story building with a light blue, almost white, facade, which is decorated with carving of azure color. The house is located in the town of Dubulti (Jurmala region). There are enough such buildings here. Since the beginning of the 19th century, they have been building up the country coast.

The mistress of the house - Johanna Emilia Lysette Rosenberg, married Elsa Pliekšane, went down in the history of Latvian and world poetry under the pseudonym Aspazija. She was born on March 04 (16) in 1868 at the Dauknas farm of the Zalenieki volost.

Aspasia was the wife and faithful companion of the Latvian poet, public figure and playwright Jan Rainis (Pliekshan). She was his immediate secretary, the strictest critic, and, of course, muse. Aspazia observed an extraordinary talent of the poet, prose writer and playwright. When she met Janis Pliekshan (editor of the newspaper "Dienas Lapa") in 1894, she had already written plays that were shown on the stage of the Riga Latvian Theater. The works brought Aspazia success and recognition. But, at the same time, she was fired from the theater. The play "Lost Rights" was overly revealing. In it, Aspazia criticizes morality in society and expressly calls on women to fight for their rights on an equal footing with men.

Yanis for a long time could not decide to read his poems to the chosen one. But soon she will express her opinion. “I reread your last poems and admire them, everything you wrote is original, extremely original. It’s not blindness of love at all, you know my harsh criticism. I’m convinced of your talent. I will keep my word and help you grow as you helped me” . Thus, inspired by Janis Pliekshan becomes a poet Rainis. For the first time, his poems under such a pseudonym will be released on November 1, 1895.

Rainis has always opposed inequality in the social strata of society, and was subjected to repression by the authorities. In 1897, Aspazia wrote to her lover in prison: “My beloved, dear! I would give my freedom a thousand times, if only I would be imprisoned with you. A sip of water and a dry crust is all I need.”

Having married, they will live happily ever after. But many trials will fall on Aspazia. Will go through with her husband through lengthy links, through the test of exile and further - world fame and recognition. Aspasia will create magnificent poems, but will irrevocably remain in secondary roles. Her husband’s fame will not allow her own talent to be fully revealed.

The poetess after the death of her husband acquired this house in 1933. She moved here from Riga to Dubulti. The last 10 years of his life, Aspazia lived in this house not alone, but together with her devoted housekeeper Annushka - almost a member of the family. Creative people gathered in the house, read poetry, and music sounded. But in the last 3 years of her life, she was very lonely. Aspaziya will die on November 5, 1943.

After the death of Aspazia, the house will gradually degenerate. He will become the property of self-government. Gradually, household items, furniture will begin to disappear from it. Each summer, temporary residents will be accommodated in it, who will not be interested in the history of the house or in its protection. Once the home of Aspazia was a beautiful building, but now it has lost its beauty and well-groomed.

Fortunately, in 1990, at the suggestion of intelligent people from Latvia, the Aspasia house will be reconstructed. This will be done by people who admire the talent of the poetess. According to the stories of witnesses and from the photos found, they will choose furniture for the house and restore its interior decoration.
The Museum of Aspazia, which is a branch of the Jurmala Museum of Art, will be created in the reconstructed house in 1996. Vases, dishes, books, paintings, figurines, clothes of that time will be presented to the museum by Jurmala residents and residents of Riga, belonging to the public organization "Heritage of Aspazia". It is led by Ruta Zenith. There are also things donated by Ruta Maryash. This is a large painting by the Latvian artist Tsielavs, a Vienna set - a handbag, scarf and felt belt, black silk embroidered shawl on a mannequin in the dressing room.

And again, the house began to live its former life, as if the hostess had not left it. He again became well-groomed and beautiful. Once inside, you plunge into that wonderful time, and forget about the present.

Tourists are attracted by the cozy atmosphere of the house, tours accompanied by a tea party. Here, verses from Aspazia are read in the language of visitors. Sounds nice music. In a large room in which there is no furniture located on the ground floor, exhibitions of paintings, photographs, sculptures are held. This room seats about 50 people. And on the street in front of the house is a snow-white monument of Aspazia. It was created by the famous sculptor Arta Dumpe.

The Aspasia House Museum is one of the most beautiful and interesting memorial museums in Latvia.