Roberts Hiršs (1895–1972) was born in Madona district. He became an influential Latvian industrialist and entrepreneur, and started to produce silk and artificial silk fabrics in Latvia. He used scientific achievements in the development of the industry, as well as cooperated with the University of Latvia. In 1925, he established a small workshop, which later became AS Rīgas Audums. In 1939, he emigrated to Sweden with his family, then to the United States, where he continued to work in the textile industry.


In 1972, Roberts Hiršs bequeathed the University of Latvia land and 5 buildings in Riga, Salamandras iela 1 (formerly, Rīgas Audums factory site), as well as land and buildings in Līgatne municipality, "Ratnieki" (the former summer house of AS Rīgas Audums).

The country property "Ratnieki" bequeathed by the patron Roberts Hiršs to the UL, with an aid of EU structural funds has become a distinctive centre for tourism, recreation and training.

The complex consists of several buildings (Manor House, White House, stable, granary, small granary, sauna, barn, sports grounds) with the capacity to accommodate 136 persons. The complex is suitable for conferences, seminars, sports competitions, games, etc.

We greatly appreciate the generous support to education and development!