The Memorial House of Ādolfs Alunāns

The Memorial House of Ādolfs Alunāns (Adolf Alunan)


The Memorial House of Ādolfs Alunāns (Adolf Alunan) is a branch of the Jelgava
History and Art Museum, which was named after Ģederts Eliass. This house is a
place where the founder of the Latvian theatre spent the last two years of his life, and
where his creative heritage and his family’s household items are retained. The fact
that the museum is located in the building, where the Father of the Latvian Theatre
was residing, creates romantic atmosphere and intrigue, left behind by the aura of the
prominent person. This is the only museum dedicated to the founder of the Latvian
theatre and the only memorial museum in the city of Jelgava.

The history of the Memorial Museum of Ādolfs Alunāns is not long. The idea to
establish this museum was realised in 1968 by Lūcija Ņefedova (Lucija Nefedova), a
producer of the Amateur Theatre, named after Ādolfs Alunāns, and Ādolfs Švānbergs
(Adolf Schvanberg), the grandson of the Father of the Theatre. Three daughters of
Alunāns: Valda, Valeska and Emīlija, were residing in a flat in Riga, the borough
of Mežaparks (Mezhaparks). They had preserved the belongings of their family:
Furniture, tableware, books, photographs, etc. The 120th jubilee of the Father of the
Theatre and the 100th anniversary of the Latvian theatre were approaching, and an
idea as to how to mark his memory in his last place of residence at 3 Filozofu Street
was nurtured.

In 1978, the City Council cleared the whole house for the needs of the museum, and
the public museum was transformed into a branch of the Jelgava History and Art
Museum, named after Ģederts Eliass.

On 19 November 1988 after the renovation, the museum opened its doors to visitors
in its current shape. On the ground floor, a room with a small stage was furbished for
hosting events, and on the first floor, an exhibition dedicated to Ādolfs Alunāns was
arranged, and his memorial flat was refurbished.

When the relevant amendments of the Civil Law entered into force in 1998, the City
Council of Jelgava bought the land and building of the museum from the Bergmans,
and transferred the acquisitions to the Jelgava History and Art Museum, named after
Ģederts Eliass, to be used for an unlimited period of time.

In 2010, a project under the title “Diversification of Services Offered by the
Memorial Museum of Ādolfs Alunāns and Restoration of Its Wooden House” was
implemented, and as a result, the museum obtained not only a perfectly restored
building, rooms, and surrounding areas with amenities, but also a ramp for wheel
chairs, presentation equipment, audio guides in four languages, opportunities for
children and adults to become familiar with the life of Ādolfs Alunāns and his epoch,
to use computer games and other multi media items. The project was implemented by
means of funding provided by the Bilateral Financial Instrument of the Norwegian
Government and the City Council of Jelgava.

The Memorial Museum of Ādolfs Alunāns has been retaining and promoting not
only the living memory of the Father of Theatre and his heritage, but also the creative
works of the amateur theatres of Jelgava.