Sights of Latgale

Latgale (Latgale) is the spiritual center of the Latvian Catholics. A lot of crucifixes, standing along the roads, indicate a deep devotion to the faith of the inhabitants of these places.

Latgale (Latgale) got its name on behalf of Latgalians – a Baltic tribe, settled in this historical area in the II-III centuries. Latgale is a land of unique nature, of confusing history and mixed population: Russians, Poles, Ukrainians and Belarusians. Latgale – the edge of blue lakes, a paradise for anglers! Here between Aglona, ​​Kraslava and Ezernieki there are several hundred large and small lakes.

25 km from Rezekne, surrounded by hills, is the second largest lake in Latvia, Razna, 45 km from Rezekne – the most beautiful Lake Ezhezers, known for its large number of bays and islets. The valley of the river Daugava, located between Kraslava and Daugavpils, with its steep banks (up to 40 m in height) and the Daugavas Loki nature park, where you can find rare plant species in abundance, is very picturesque.

Catholic Basilica
The fortress of Dinaburg

History of Latgale

According to the excavations in the Daugava Valley, the first people in the territory of Latgale appeared at the end of the last ice age, about 11 thousand years ago. Here are found the remains of Neolithic sites, settlements of the Iron Age. Latgales appeared on this earth in the 6th-7th centuries. As for assimilation, then surrounded by North and West Threatened Finns Livs and Estes, from the west and southwest by Balts Kurds and Semigallians, from the south by Balts to villages (villages), and from the east by Slavs Krivichs, Latgals could not help but mix with them: there were almost no serious clashes between these tribes, except with Estonians, and trade and other joint economic affairs were there, and so communication was very close.

In the IX-XII centuries. they began to build, primarily on the right bank of the Daugava, their first fortified cities. They were called Yersika (Gerzike), Talava, Koknese and Atzale. Yersika (now a small village) since 1202 was ruled by the Orthodox Russian prince Dovsprunk Vsevolod Vladimirovich (1187-1234 gg.), From 1202 until death. He came from the princes of Novgorod-Seversky Rurikovich.

During the VI-XIV centuries. On Daugava one of branches of a way “from Varangians to Greeks” passed, that promoted development of Latgalsky edge. With the advent of the present-day Latvia in the 13th century. They began to call the crusaders the local population “Lettas” (Letitigals). This name passed to the ethnos, later called (in Russian) Latvian, and the core was Latgalian.

The active assimilation of Latgalians with other Baltic tribes continued until the middle of the 14th century, when the main part of Latgaspia moved to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. According to the Aptmark world of 1629 between Sweden and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Zadvinsky duchy was divided into two parts along the Aiviekste river: the western part went to Sweden as Livonia, and the eastern part remained near Poland under the name Inflanty. The Latgalian ethnos was divided into two parts. In 1772, as a result of the division of Rzeczpospolita, the eastern Latgalian lands were annexed to the Russian Empire.

In May 1917, Latgale voluntarily joined Latvia, leaving the Belarusian province. Has passed together with other Latvia all its uneasy way in XX century, finished formation of the independent Latvian Republic in 1991.