Zakusala. Visual archive

Where fishermen used to live. Visual archive.

Zaķusala (means rabbit island) is one of the biggest Riga’s islands in river Daugava. It is new island formed at the end of 19 century from three separate islands as result of water flow regulation works in the river. Fishermen lived on this island still in 1970’s, there were 6 streets with buildings and gardens, some of fishermen lived there in 6th generation. To city center was possible to go by boat or small ferry.

This video is fragment from Latvian movie “Ābols upē” 1974 where is possible to see Zaķusala and people who lived there. Film is attempt to combine documentary and fiction. There are wonderful scenes of Riga panorama at that time before incredible change.

Soon fishermen were removed to apartments in soviet year block buildings in suburbs of Riga and little village in Zaķusala were destroyed to make something more modern: Salu tilts- bridge across the river, television building and TV and radio tower. Zaķusala is a jungle now in city center, once lively island is abandoned but can be proud with one of Riga’s landmarks TV tour, highest building in EU.