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Personally, I think this is one of the coolest places in Latvia. This is the 8th largest radio antenna on the planet and it was used by the Soviet Army for spying. Its now used for deep space exploration. The whole antenna can move - incredible, if you consider its size!

The whole area was a forbidden zone in Soviet times - not just the town and the antenna, but the whole region around it. Everyone who wanted to visit people in the nearby towns needed special permits.

When the Soviet Army left, they sabotaged the antenna. Now, if they wanted to destroy it, that would have been easy - the antenna turns on large ball bearings. Remove one and try to turn it, and fixing it after that is nearly impossible. The people who did the sabotaging obviously knew this, yet they still only cut wires and covered up the cuts. Its obvious that they marked the places where the cuts were made on their diagramms with one idea - when the Soviet Army returns, they can get it back working again. Thankfully, that never happened. They never gave up the diagramms either, but Latvian scientists managed to fix it nevertheless.

A whole army town was built next to the antenna. It was completely abandoned after the army left, and then plundered by people looking to get metals, wires and anything else useful out of it. Now it just stands there as a gigantic monument to what used to be. Pretty creepy, and you get the eerie feeling walking through it. There's no fenced up areas, no ticket booths, no safety ropes, nothing. Wander around and use common sense.


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