Comet fort II WW2


The first information about the construction of fortifications at the mouth of the Daugava dates back to 1205, when the construction of a Cistercian monastery and castle near the right bank of the Daugava began, at the present Vecdaugava, which was the main mouth of the Daugava. The castle became a fortress, which was destroyed and rebuilt several times during the wars. In connection with the regulation of the Daugava bank in the 18th century, the Daugavgrīva fortress was gradually removed from the mouth of the river. In order to keep the estuary safe for navigation and to prevent the formation of shoals, in 1765 the Swedish government began construction of a dam on the right bank of the river opposite the fortress. A cannon battery resembling the head of a comet was placed at the end of the dam, but the dam itself resembled its tail, so the new building was named the Comet Fort. The six beams of the fortress are intelligent bastions, which have been given astronomical names by their designer, Swedish engineer Erik Dalberg - Morning Star, Sietins, South Pole, Greizie Rati, Star of the Sea and North Pole.

Continuing the regulation of the estuary, Komētforts reached the left bank of the Daugava. In 1912, the construction of several forts in Mangaļsala and Bolderāja was started. Two forts with 254 mm guns, six forts with 152 mm guns and three forts with 138 mm guns were built. Two cannons were installed in each fort. Today, Komētforts is a historical monument of local significance, its opening was one of the main reasons why the construction of a new port terminal in Daugavgrīva was suspended.

Cometfort has also served as a prison for many notable people. Here, the Duke of Courland and Zemgale, Jēkabs, was detained for a short time with the whole family because he had cooperated with the Swedish authorities. Here at the age of one and a half years 1743/44. Ivan VI, the overthrown Tsar of Russia, was imprisoned in. Louis XVIII was also kept in the Daugavgriva fortress for a short time. In the 19th century, political prisoners, including those of other faiths, were held in Daugavgrīva Fortress. After the Second World War, a labor camp was set up in the fortress.

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Your comments

About the comet fort. In 1765, the Swedish government could not give the task of building a fort, since this territory was part of the Russian Empire from 1721.

Arnis Grinbergs
Apr 9, 2024, 8:56:34 AM

Related objects

Comet Fort

The Comet Fort Dam is historically related to cultural monuments of national significance: the buildings of the Daugavgrīva Fortress, as well as the complex of fortification structures of the Daugava estuary in Mangaļsala. The mole, which was constructed in 1850–1861 and whose construction was actively supervised by the Russian Tsar, who repeatedly visited it, stretches into the sea from Mangaļsala. Two stones can be found on the bank of the Daugava in the vicinity of the mole: they were named “Tsar’s Stones” in honour of the visit by the Russian Tsar Alexander II and Prince Royal Nicholas to this place.

Mangaļsala fortifications

Coastal fortifications are located in Riga, Mangaļsala, at the mouth of the Daugava across from Daugavgrīva. Fortifications built by different armies (Russian, Latvian, German and Soviet) can be seen here. The fortifications of Mangaļsala were built to defend the city of Riga from hostile navies. This area was strategically important for a long period of time. After World War I the Latvian Army did not yet have a strong navy. The maritime border was long and coastal defence was becoming an increasingly difficult task. The Latvian Army took over the fortifications built by the Russian Empire in the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century and expanded the defence system. The artillery of Daugavgrīva and Mangaļsala would open fire on enemy ships trying to enter the mouth of Daugava, while support points at the mouth of Lielupe (Jūrmala) and mouth of Gauja (Carnikava) would stop enemy landing parties. There was also a specially equipped armoured coastal defence train that could provide artillery fire and support in the direction of Saulkrasti or Jūrmala. The aim of fortifying strategic sites was to maximise the use of weapons through special constructions and terrain advantages. Coastal defence fortifications were spread out over a large area to counter enemy efforts in the event of war.

Audio guide

Daugavgrīva Fortress

Daugavgrīva Fortress (entry from Birzes street) is located on the Daugavgrīva Island where Buļļupe river joins the Daugava river. The fortress was built in the 17th century to defend from enemies moving in the direction of Riga, which was an important administrative, trade and production centre. Later it became the main fortification of the Latvian Army coastal defence with several support points. This defensive fortification system is one of the most valuable objects of Latvia's military heritage. This fortress has witnessed Latvian military history. For example, during the Crimean War (1853-1856) Latvian and Estonian gunboat crews were trained here. The main objective of these units was to protect local ports and the coast from attacks by the British navy. During World War I Daugavgrīva militiamen companies were formed here. These were the first Latvian combat units, which came even before the Latvian Riflemen. Nowadays it is possible to see the territory of the fortress. ‘Komētforts’ and the Seaside Nature Park are located nearby and Mangaļsala fortifications are on the other side of the Daugava river.

Coastal defence batteries at Bolderaja

Located in Bolderāja - east of Lielupes Street and southeast of Jātnieku Street on the bank of the Daugava.

Remains of four exploded battery positions remain. These batteries, which contained cannons of the 152nd caliber, are part of the former Riga fortification system, the aim of which was to protect the city from attackers coming (came) from the sea. From the top of the batteries you can clearly see the Daugava and the newly flooded northern part of Krievu Island.

At the end of 2023, during the improvement works of the territory, one of the four batteries was partially destroyed.



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