Imants Ziedonis

Imants Ziedonis (1933-2013)

Imants Ziedonis

Born on May 3, 1933 in Ragaciems, in a fisherman's family.

Died on February 27, 2013, buried in the Ragaciems cemetery.


One of the most prominent and popular poets of Latvia, a publicist, author of short stories and cinema scenarios, an active cultural and public personality. He has become known for both his literary works and his extraordinary and powerful personality. His creative work, expressions, life style, and ideas expressed still resonate with great interest in a vast part of modern society.


"Some poets are famous, others are notorious. Rarely, they are loved. Such a one is Latvian
poet Imants Ziedonis, who had and still has a following akin to that of celebrities like Bob
Dylan or Leonard Cohen. His list of accomplishments is endless, ranging from children’s
books to prose poems, to box-office-hit movies and popular songs. He was a phenomenon, a
poet whose books had print runs of tens of thousands and sold out instantly, books read by
fishermen and milkmaids, beekeepers and hairdressers, actors and presidents."

Baņuta Rubess
International level trainer and consultant, theatre and opera director and writer


Imants Ziedonis gained extensive and immediate popularity upon publication of his book of poems Motocikls (Motorcycle) in 1965. The poet expressed the alarm of breaking away from routine, the call of self-appointed pathways, and confidence in the endless possibilities of human development. Pēteris Pētersons, director of the Theater of Art, established a poetry theater in Latvia (1967) with the poetry composition, Motocikls (Motorcycle).


Ziedonis was a timeless seeker and he showed keen interest in many spheres, and one of those was also museums, in spite of the fact he didn’t like most of them. And for him the most awful thing was that children or anyone else might be compelled to visit museums. In 1985 Imants Ziedonis revealed his idea of what could be an ideal future museum in a public speech in honour of International day of Museums: ‘It must be so that visitors beg for letting them enter museum rather than dragging them in by force.’ In that speech he encouraged museums to start experimenting with the way they worked and interacted with their visitors.


But it was not until 2010, when Ziedonis had a real opportunity to define his own museum. It all started when he and his wife, the actress, Ausma Kantāne decided to sell their summer house in Murjāņi parish.


Why is this house so special? It’s exterior and interior was all planned and sketched by Ziedonis and his wife. This house was built by author himself with the help of one carpenter Otto Bērziņš in a five-year period from 1970 till 1975. This house is also very special because it resonates with Imants Ziedonis poetic works and is even called the greatest volume of Imants Ziedonis collected works.


In 2010 Imants Ziedonis was introduced to a small group of creative people called the Little Cavalry who were united in their goal of voluntary work for Latvia and its people in the period of economic crisis. They went to schools to inspire school youth, together they cleaned nature and planted trees played football and sang, basically unconsciously they were already implementing and continuing some ideas of Ziedonis.

And as a result, in 2011 the foundation Viegli (Lightly) was established by 14 individuals. This group bought Imants Ziedonis’s summer house, created the statutes of the foundation and acknowledged the strategy co-authored by Ziedonis himself. Both documents and many of the following declarations included the creed and mission statement: ‘Latvia is a miraculously beautiful country, but the beauty needs help to emerge.’


Now you can visit the museum in Murjāņi, which is open

from May 16th to September 30th.


From Wednesday to Sunday

11.00 - 18.00


11.00 - 20.00

Tour in English: EUR 5,-

Address: Imants Ziedonis Museum, Krimulda Parish, LV-2142

Its is possible to visit the museum in Murjāņi by public transport from Riga International Bus station.


Visit our e-museum (Latvian Language)



The offices of the foundation Viegli (Lightly) and Imants Ziedonis museum is in Riga, Sporta 2 str., LV-1013.

You can find out all the deatails via phone: +371 26935526 or e-mail: