The Powder Tower was built as a defensive system for the city of Riga and in the seventeenth century it took the name of Powder Tower because of the gunpowder stored inside it.
After the Northern War the Powder Tower lost its military value.
Today’s appearance dates back to 1650 while at the end of the nineteenth century the pointed roof was built reaching 26 meters in height.
Inside the Powder Tower is the Latvian War Museum.
The museum’s collection includes more than 25,000 objects including documents, weapons, photos, uniforms and other items collected in collections and chronological exhibitions.
In the museum you can visit several permanent exhibitions concerning:
- Warriors and art of war of the IX-XVI century (the oldest period of Latvian military history)
- XVII-XVIII century (period when the countries of the Baltic coast fought for dominance in the Baltic Sea)
- XIX century – early XX century (Latvians in the army of the Russian Empire)
- Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia and Freedom Fights of 1918-1920
- The Defense of Latvia (1920-1940)
- Latvia in World War II
- Latvia during the Soviet occupation
- Latvian Independence in 1991