Catholic Basilica

Basilica in Aglona

Catholic BasilicaTo the East of Latvia in the Prejl′skom area is the small town of Aglona. It is located in a very beautiful area, between two scenic lakes. The town is the subject of numerous legends. So locals believe that it is in this town in the 13th century, was killed and buried the famous Lithuanian King Mindaugas (Lithuanians have different opinion). The town is inhabited by mostly latgal′cami is a very friendly and open people with their decent respect for culture and traditions.

In the 15th century from Lithuania in Aglona was transported the icon of the Virgin Mary. Prior to that, she was in the town of Trakai, the former ancient capital of Lithuania. In Lithuania this Icon came from Byzantium, as a gift from one of the Byzantine emperors of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas the great. I.e., Aglona Icon of the mother of God of Ostraya Brama like Vilnius and Polish Mary the mother of God was originally Orthodox. And in our time honoured equally as icon of Aglona Catholic or Orthodox and old believers. The icon was placed in the local wooden church, which was almost three centuries.

In the sixteenth century on a hill not far from the church there was a phenomenon of the mother of God of a local resident. Mother of God predicted the prosperity of this place and that there will be very many people. Nowadays the place come as pilgrims, arriving on 15 August, and ordinary residents of Aglona. They pray at the site of the statue of Mary, asking him to bless them on good deeds.

In the second half of the eighteenth century in Eastern Latvia (Latgale) began the period known as the period of “Latgale Baroque”. Local nobles had donated for the construction of beautiful large churches, with the condition that they are “good European”. So at this time in Daugavpils was the Church of St. Peter, which is not a lot not a little like a miniature of the famous Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. In Kraslava was built the Church of St. Louis, a miniature main church of the Jesuit church of the Gesù in Rome, del. At the same time in 1780 was built and a new majestic stone Catholic Church in aglona.

Basilica in aglona simply amazes with the beauty. Against the backdrop of the beautiful rural landscape is dazzling white two-Tower Church. Inside the temple is decorated in a very nice style, inherent in the Baroque period. It is divided into three parts, and all three parts are available to the faithful. At the top of the temple is the our Lady of Aglona, to which every believer can come at any time. Near an icon is, if I may say so, Foyer, where exhibits here are already not one year photo exhibition “Churches of Latgale”. In this exhibition depicts the Catholic churches, as well as Orthodox churches, and the Lutheran Church worship houses staroverčeskie.

On the first floor is the main temple, which hosts daily masses, and naturally and festal divine services. It also has many other holy sites for Roman Catholics, so for example there is our Lady of the Rosary. Also recently in the main temple on the ground floor there is 24-hour Eucharistic adoration. Eucharistic adoration is constant worship of the Savior. The Savior in this case in the Catholic tradition symbolizes the cachet of St. Eucharist encased in a beautiful frame.

In the lower floor, there are burial crypt. So there lies one of the most prominent Catholic clergy of Latvia is the first Latvian Cardinal Julian Vajvod, as well as two prominent Catholic priest Latgale-Bolesław Sloskans and Âzep Rancans.

Before entering the Basilica erected a canopy and balcony, where celebratory Worship 13-15 August.

The Basilica is surrounded by a Sacred area, in which Processions on August 14, as well as believers are pilgrims from all over Latvia and many countries of the world coming for the holidays 13-15 August. In the 90-ies of the last century, Sacred Space has been renovated and decorated. In its decoration the bother now deceased sculptor Igor Vasiliev Riga, as well as sculptors and art restorers from Armenia.

The source is located near the Basilica of the holy water. This source was studied in the nineteenth century scientists from St. Petersburg, and found the water curative. So that it is useful even for non-Catholics.

Interestingly, the mother of God really kept and keeps this Basilica and this region throughout the centuries-old history. So the Basilica in aglona is not affected in any of the numerous wars, passing through the region. And during the great patriotic war this temple was saved just miraculously. July 29, 1944 year it happened. At this time, the Germans had already escaped from Latgale. And, escaping, destroying all in its path. Among other things, they decided to blow up the Church of Aglona. So they sent to the blast, which the German scrupulousness and professionalism had laid explosives. They laid the explosives, including the top floor at the altar next to the icon of the mother of God. And there was something unexplainable. Hitler’s experts dealing with explosives suddenly smoril dream and they fell asleep right in the Church, of course without giving effect to the explosives. And they slept so soundly that awakened them only our advanced parts, taking them prisoner, the Catholic Church saved the Church. Catholics believe that the Nazis brought the dream itself, the mother of God, zaŝitivšaâ ‘s shrine. Aglona Catholic Church survived in Latvia and in the hruŝëvskie days, when equally criticised and Orthodox churches, and the Catholic kostëlam.

In 1980, in honor of the 200 anniversary of the construction of the Church and in requital of respect for everything that makes his arrival, Pope John-Paul II gave the Church the title of Basilica.

Since August 1991, in a festive tradition in aglona entered penitential Procession around the Basilica, where the faithful remember 15 stops on the procession with the Saviour and read the prayer of the Rosary (our father, Catholic version O Theotokos, plus access to the Virgin Mary (Blessed Virgin, pray for us now and at the hour of our death) and pray on issues of relevance for the Republic and the world. the participants of the go with zažžënnymi candlesis it in the evening and looks very nice.

In September 1993, during his visit to Latvia, visited Aglona and the late Pope John Paul the second, at the end of a mass there. After the Basilica in aglona became a place of pilgrimage of international importance, which is in our time.

The fortress of Dinaburg

Dinaburg fortress

The fortress of DinaburgThe dinaburg fortress in Daugavpils is considered to be one of the main symbols of the city. This is a gem, and the most important cultural and historic monument of the second largest city in Latvia, Daugavpils. It is the only preserved in the Baltic States without significant changes in the first half of the 19th century fortress is vivid evidence of the military history of Imperial Russia. Ensemble the fortress forms the main Fortress (Citadel) and shaft, 8 bastions (pentagonal, made up of strengthening on the corners of the fortress), ravelins (three corners is consolidation ahead of the shaft between the bastions), external protective shaft, which is the road on the right bank of the Daugava River, and some bridge building on the left bank of the river. The territory of the fortress was oval in shape and divided into quarters. At their Center is a square parade ground. Around the square are areas of administrative and residential buildings. The facades of the buildings in the style of the Russian Empire style.

Despite all her seeming youthfulness, the history of the fortress is not so simple. For many centuries the territory of modern Latvia was an arena of wars between the Germans, Swedes, poles and Russians for supremacy in the Baltic States. In the middle of the 13th century, German Crusaders (Livonian brothers of the sword) to keep in check the local population of Latgalian and confront the Princes decided to create strongholds. One of these items was to become Dinaburg Castle, named after the river — Dina (in ancient times it was the path from the Varangians to the Greeks). The place chosen Knights on the banks of the Daugava River, where there is now a town Naujene that upstream of the river Daugava from Daugavpils at 19 km today. There were trade routes from Pskov and Novgorod to Polotsk and Vilna in Riga and the Baltic.

During the Livonian war, August 11, 1577, the troops of Ivan the terrible took Castle Dinaburg, but soon were forced to return it back to the poles. The Russians do not have to continue to fight for the old, dilapidated, Castle, and 19 kilometers downstream of the Daugava River, at the mouth of the river Šunica, began the construction of a new fortress called trench of Ivan the terrible. Russia lost in the war with Poland, and under a contract signed in January 1582, the entire territory of Latvia were ceded to Poland. The Poles in place of the trench of Ivan the terrible began building more powerful fortress. She was surrounded by earthen ramparts, which were bastions. During the Polish-Swedish war, in 1625 and 1635, the town and the Castle were badly damaged by Swedish troops. After the war, the fortress was restored. Gradually developing, built on a new site Dinaburg was compete in trade matters with other cities. But ongoing hostilities prevented further development of the city. In 1655, the Swedes again took Dinaburgskuû Castle from the weakening of Poland, they prevented a Russian win over Latvia. In a bit of the time indicated: books … thethe strugah past the city pass cannot be, because with the city and opposite the town on the banks of the River šancy, and corroboration of the River from the shore-half piŝalej of were shooting constantly. “

For this reason, Russia started a war with Sweden, and July 30, 1656 year the King Alexei Mikhailovich with his army, composed of Tatars, Chuvashes and noble Cavalry, after three violent assaults broke the Swedes of the Dinaburg fortress. In the year 1667, in Andrusove, a peace treaty was signed between Russia and Sweden, which Russia renounced all conquests in Latgale, and the city was returned to Poland. In February 1700 year Northern War began. The fortress occupied by Saxon troops, allies of Russia. In the year 1710 in Latgale region suffered from the plague. Railway garrison is almost completely extinct, the Fort was disarmed, the guns were removed in Vilna. In 1772, the first partition of Poland, Latgale was annexed by the Russian Empire. In 1810-m have a future construction and plan of the fortress. On the construction of powerful design was employed 15000 people.

In 1812, after bloody fighting, the French army occupied the unfinished structures at 5 months. Then construction continued, and in 1833-m Emperor Nicholas II consecrated the fortress. The year of birth is considered to be the year 1878, when construction ended. Unfortunately, quickly losing its military importance, the dinaburg fortress in 1897, was turned into a warehouse. In the 1920-1940 ‘s there were shelves of the Latvian army, during the second world war, the area was transformed by the Nazis into a huge concentration camp Stalag 340, and from 1948 to 1994 year here was Daugavpils higher military aviation engineering school, which drafted the engineering stuff for air force and air defense Aviation of the USSR. The territory of the fortress was closed, so many locals knew her only for weddings from Daugavpils beauties with the military. From 1998 on, the fortress was passed into the possession of the State real property Agency. Now in restoration work is underway and the fortress gradually it is being revived now for military purposes: in the building of Arsenal host Center Mark Rothko exhibition of original works and artists ‘ residencies.

Venspils Castle

Windau Castle

Venspils CastleThe castle is considered the oldest in Ventspils Vindau fortress from the late Middle Ages in Latvia (the year 1290), preserved in a full volume. The mouth of the river Venta was first mentioned in historical sources in 1263, in connection with the conclusion of the agreement on the Division of the port of Courland and the Curonian lands among the master of the Livonian order and the Bishop of Kurzeme. This area became the property of the Livonian order. The Crusaders at the end of the 13th century (the period 1263 to 1290 BC) erected here in 1 km from the mouth of the Venta River, the stone castle Vindau (Windau). There are suggestions that this could happen in the middle of the century. The oldest part of the Livonian Order’s Castle, built on the site of the former settlement of Curonians, a donjon Tower, standing for the protection of fine seafood Harbour and navigation on the river Venta in the 13th century, the castle was originally surrounded by a moat, but its traces not survived to the present day.

In 1290, the master of the Hal′t approved the border of Kuldiga city and Ventspils komturij and then Castle Vindau was first mentioned in historical sources as a ready-made structure, in which lived in Ryn Livonian order. According to historians, the castle was built in three phases Vindau called three construction period. Initially up to 1290 g. 10h16h30 Square Tower were built, with a total area of approximately 1133 square metres and surrounding the fortress wall with a length of 32.5 x 33.5 m around the courtyard of about 160 m². m. the thickness of the walls was about two meters. For the inhabitants of the Castle Tower served as a last refuge in time of danger, so the entrance to the tower was at a safe height from the ground, where access was quickly dilemma referred to wooden stairs. On the second floor was a room where you can sit out in the event of a siege. To keep warm, the Knights stoked fire.

Over time, the Castle was the Centre of a Vindau Trestles. It is known about the komtur of 1291 21 or 1309 on 1560 ‘s, lived in the Ventspils Castle throughout the existence of the State of the Livonian order. The first komtur was brother Detlev or Detfler, mentioned in 1291, the audit Protocol, dated 1442 year, mentions that in the Castle lived five Knights, two priests, and they had weapons for 32 and 34 horses; the Castle also had 6 cannons and 20 samostrelov with 30 cops shoot (30 x 60 PCs.) and polubočka powder. In 1451, the castle had seven brothers Knight award certificates and operating staff.

In the 14th century were constructed all buildings of the Castle, forming a complex of buildings with a courtyard of the convent type. During the Polish-Swedish war (1655-1660), the castle was destroyed, and in the second half of the 17 century newly restored.

In 1832, the completed reconstruction of the Castle, and began a period of its use as the county jail, which lasted until 1959 year. After that, the castle was used as a military base of the border forces of the USSR. In 1997 year was updated facade of the Castle and its territory is arranged well. Externally, the castle was returned to its historic appearance-now it looks like in the 19 century.

Now the castle is the Museum of Ventspils, exposition of which the history of the Castle, town and port, developed with the use of computer technology, is considered the most modern in the Baltics. For example, in the cellar of ghosts of the castle can be seen as the past runs through the Black piglet Castle and “held in a prison, you can hear the voices of prisoners. In the courtyard, where various events are held frequently, you can shoot this bow.

Jaunmoku Castle

Jaunmoku Castle

Jaunmoku CastleJaunmoku Castle is a masterpiece of architecture in Latvia is designed in a combination of neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau style. The Palace was built in 1901 as a hunting lodge and summer residence for the Mayor of Riga — George Armitsted (1847-1912). Sculpture by j. Armisteda with a dog can be seen in Riga, opposite the Opera and Ballet Theatre. Jaunmoku Castle is one of the most famous and most beautiful brick buildings in Latvia. The Interior of the Castle hunting Castle of newly created at the end of the 20th century, however, among the original Interior special attention deserve the tiled stoves the lock, one of which was established at the turn of 19-20 centuries in honour of the 700-year anniversary of Riga, and on which you can see the painting with images of Riga and the surrounding area a century ago.

There are two variants of the name of the Castle. The first is near from this place is Karatavskaâ Hill, which in ancient times, Baron chastised his subjects. Brook originates from the martyrs. The second option-the word “jaunmokas” at the Prussian dialect means “new field”, which in this place once purchased a landowner.

George Armitstead was the owner of the Palace and Manor Jaunmokas until 1904 Goda. After the death of his father, George inherited the estate and sold the castle of Rindzele Combining Brinkens family, who owned the Castle until 1910 year. After that, the owners of the Palace changed very often. In 1920, the castle was nationalized by Latvia, and until 1940 it was used as a sanatorium for children. During the 2nd world war, Russians and the German army used the Castle as a military school, a radio station and a hospital. After the war, the Palace was used as a base of machine and tractor land (soil improvement and drainage) and the stock of agricultural machinery. The 20 families lived in the Castle, which still housed the store, movie theater and dance halls.

In 1974 the building was taken over by the Ministry of forestry, and after 20 years of intensive reconstruction Jaunmoku Castle was completely restored. In the castle there is the exposition about forestry and hunting in Latvia. Also offers theatrical excursions, holidays, there are cafes, playgrounds. Very nice view from the observation tower. Jaunmoku castle there are its own legend and his cast, dialogue which documented the scientists from Germany.

Jaunmoku Castle legend

The legend of Jaunmokas Palace is based on real events that took place at the beginning of the 20th century, and the legend tells us the story of a young girl named Dorothy.

At the end of 20-th century the relatives of the former owner of the Palace of von Ungern-Sternberg, visited the Palace and after this visit, we received a letter in which the tragic incident was described what happened at the beginning of the 20th century.

German army resided in the Palace during World War II. At this time a young girl Dorothy worked as a nanny in the Palace. Dorothy fell in love with the officer, but the army did not stay long in one place. After a while the officer had left the Palace, together with the army, leaving the girl who was waiting for the child. Dorothy could not withstand the breaking up and she didn’t want to feel shame when everyone finds out her secret, so the night Dorothy went to a pond near the Palace, and completed her life by jumping into the water.

After this tragic event, the inhabitants of the Palace is sometimes seen a mysterious ghost, white dress that wandered around the Palace. The spirit of Dorothy did not find peace.

People who worked and lived in the Palace, saying that they often heard and seen a white lady who walked through the Palace or slammed the door.

Not every visitor can see a White Lady, but who knows … Maybe if you visit the Palace Jaunmokas, or stay here for the night, you will witness its presence.

Castle Jaunpils

Jaunpils Castle

Castle JaunpilsJaunpils Castle, built in the year 1301 on Lake Dzirnavu (Mill), is one of the few medieval castles, has preserved its original appearance.

Jaunpils Castle is a typical construction of the Livonian Order fortress, it was built by master Gottfried von Horn. More than 350 years the Castle owned by the barons of von der River. Up to the present day came many legends about the fearless, Matthias von der Recke, owner of the castle in the 16 century. During the Swedish war he fought in a duel with Swedish King Charles IX and after the fight in the hands of Recke was the sword of King and his cap with expensive decorated with ribbons. These valuable items were stored in the castle of Jaunpils before World War I, but then were lost.

Jaunpils Castle and its surroundings have many legends and mysteries. Today you can visit the church built at the end of the 16th century water mill, the age of 200 years, and in the Castle enjoyed a medieval meal and hot red wine. It is here that you can feel the aroma of the romantic era.

The castle is now a museum where you can see the layout of locks, copies of the arms and armour of the Livonian order, learn interesting facts about the life of the Castle and the fate of the inhabitants of Jaunpils.

The Castle also offers theatrical excursions accompanied by monks or medieval singers, medieval meal in a restaurant Castle, Medieval feasts are arranged in summer.


Town of Kuldiga

KuldigaTown of Kuldiga, one of the most beautiful cities of Latvia. Tiled roofs, the medieval layout of streets and winding among the old houses by the river Alekšupīte… Miracles here at every step — flying through the air fish, the widest waterfall in Europe, built on Roman designs brick bridge, a unique collection of playing cards. And in Kuldiga district not less interesting is this oil well, the purest from Lake Zvirgzdu, Shitake mushrooms and plantation of medicinal herbs, the mystical cave maze, old palaces and manor houses, the suiti people tradition, unique wooden toys …

Ventas Rumba-the widest waterfall in Europe. The fact is well known. Threshold stretches almost the entire width of the river. 149 metres-it looks serious. Come see the natural sight, of course, is worth it. But consider: the gloomy and overcast December days are still not that spring and summer.

Meanwhile, in ancient times the city of Kuldiga was a place where fish … flies through the air. When the fish were here to spawn, she had to overcome the threshold, jumping out of the water. During the reign of Duke Jacob here came up with a special gear is in Wicker baskets were in the right places and salmon, and catfish. Fishing baskets in Kuldiga continued until the second world war, local fishermen have taken several meters waterfall for rent. But watch for the flying fish can be in our days. Want to see a miracle, come to Kuldiga in late April and early may! By the way, the tourist season the city opens a great holiday, which is called “fish-fly!”.

But in summer, the stunning local attraction — bathing under a waterfall. In imperial times, among other things, for the pleasure of bathers took a coin. Now, completely free of charge. It is only necessary to know the place, on the right bank of the river Venta in the Rocky bottom of the waterfall gouged entire baths! Artificial cascades in swimming pools and spa-centers after Ventas Rumba just rest.

Consider the Ventas Rumba in all its glory — at any time of the year! as you can from the window of the Kuldiga Museum, located next to the shore. This elegant lodge residents have long been referred to as Villa Bangerta.

The legend says that the name of the captain of Liepāja, bought as a gift to the bride’s House to your liking. After all, the Villa was once the Russian Pavilion at the world exhibition in Paris. Captain Bangert it dismantled, moved and miles away and put on the steep banks of the Venta River. A view of the waterfall and the old brick bridge became the best decoration of the Villa. Telling me this story, Director of the Museum, Dace Bumbiere showed and the layout of the Kuldiga castle that once stood on the site of the present Museum. (This is from his stone was once built half of the old city centre.) There are the Museum and the medieval knight’s armor. In especially solemn occasions “Knight” goes on tour in Latvia, is staying in friendly museums. After all, this rare exhibit for those who are versed in the middle ages, is also something of a miracle.

But tourists are most interested in the famous collection of the Museum of playing cards, the only one in the Baltic States. The Kings, šestërkah and ACEs — characters of Duke Jacob to President Putin.

The old bridge across the Venta River is the longest continuing act brick bridges of Europe. It was built after the old bridge across the Moselle, erected there by the ancient Romans!..

It is very likely that in a couple of years old Kuldīga along with the Valley of venta and waterfall ventas Rumba will be included in the lists of protected monuments of UNESCO, is now the city already is in the waiting list.

And yet the town Kuldīga throughout time been a favorite kind of filmmakers. Starred in 25 films, such as “Beach” by Alexander and Alova Vladimir Naumov. The show is expected to soon all «kuldigskie» paintings by staging a small Film Festival.

Duke Jacob is the most legendary and awesome character throughout Latvian history-originally from Kuldīga. In the Church of St. Catherine, which still stands today, it once was. In the reign of Duke Jacob was prospering and his hometown. The ships were built, in Kuldiga acted Manufactory, trade. Say, Duke is always in a special way gently to Kuldiga, and because of his beloved woman, a kind of Lisi.

In Kuldīga in 1838, the family doctor was born and Karl Davydov was a cellist, teacher and composer, who has been working for many years Director of the Petersburg Conservatory. Pyotr Tchaikovsky, for example, called Tzar Davydova cellists of our century “. In memory of the outstanding fellow countryman in Kuldīga are international competitions of young cellists, involving musicians from Latvia, Russia, the United States and Israel. In March of next year, the competition will be dedicated to the 170 anniversary of the musician.

Legenda Kuldiga

Kuldiga connoisseurs will tell you many entertaining historical anecdotes. But is it possible to treat seriously to this, for example, history …

Once visited the Bourgmestres Štafenhagena Swedish King Charles XII. Winter, Blizzard, boredom is. … Wanted to play King of the chess game, but the game did not go, suck-courtiers King shamelessly exposed. Then he commanded the enemy seek local — does anybody in this town do not know how to play chess? “. And found a commoner, defeated King! Oh so beautiful beat that King immediately granted the winner a chest full of luxurious Royal outfits. Yes just from them for joy, because by law could not then a man of low rank wearing Royal dress. There’s burgomaster Stavenhagen used this opportunity. And by the citizen of the Royal treasure chest and its contents. That was then lucky-chess player, history is silent. But the enterprising Mayor and Royal poŝegolâl outfits, and the chest has embedded into the wall under the stairs of the Kuldiga home.

Miracle, actually, that you will tales of the trunk show. Through the courtyards and the backyard, along the river Alekšupīte. On the façade of the House is a sign of “a monument of architecture. House Štafenhagena, and Royal chest is under the stairs.

Barefoot Trail

Barefoot Trail

Barefoot Trail

Barefoot Trail is an original invention, the experience of which will be taken from Austria, Switzerland and Germany, and adapted to the Latvian landscape and climate, and also to those unique qualities characteristic only of the territory of the Kemeri National Park Valgums Lake and the Slocene River.

Walking and wellness rituals on the barefoot path in Latvia and the whole Baltics will bring you a lot of pleasures.

The length of the trail is more than 2 km. Pebbles, moss, cones, sand, boulders, wood, reeds, chips, rough tree trunks, clay, river water, rain-soaked soft grass, pleasant to the touch of peat – all this and more will become a huge adventure for your feet and the effect will not make yourself for a long time to wait.

Walking barefoot on the natural, natural surfaces of the barefoot path:

  • You temper your body and increase its protective reaction;
  • Improves blood circulation, which is useful for the heart;
  • Muscles of the legs, ligaments, joints are strengthened;
  • Reduced cramps in the calves;
  • Tired feet rest;

The body relaxes and calms down;

Walk on the barefoot path can only walk with bare feet. Kids will have to go along with their parents, because it is impossible to drive along the paths.

If you have an appointment, you can enjoy a pleasant wellness procedure – a flower foot bath, as well as a treat in the form of herbal tea.

On the territory of the complex for recreation there is a cozy hotel, including panoramic rooms with a beautiful view of the lake.

Services provided on the territory of the recreation complex:

  • hotel
  • restaurant (opening hours 12: 00-22: 00)
  • bath complex
  • massage and SPA procedures
  • rent of conference halls for 40-50 people
  • service of corporate events and holidays
  • sports grounds
  • rent of sports equipment, boats, bicycles inventory for sports walking
  • conditions for the organization of corporate events
    a place on the lake for fishing

This place will not leave anyone indifferent – neither children nor adults. Come here to enjoy the beautiful nature and recharge your energy.

Opening hours: The barefoot path is open to everyone who wants to eat every day from 9: 00-20: 00.

Film City Cinevilla. Cinevilla Cinematograph

Film City Cinevilla

Film City Cinevilla. Cinevilla CinematographFilm City CINEVILLA is a unique tourist sights of Latvia with an extensive organization of events, filming and entertainment options.

Film City Cinevilla Studio is the only open air cinema in the Baltic States and the largest in Northern Europe.

Film City “Cinevilla” located in Tukums Cinevilla studios in the suburb of Slampe and represents an open-air scenery. Its construction was initiated in May 2004 year. specially for shooting historical film “sargi, which premiered November 11, 2007 year.

In Balaji’s built two cities-they are called “major” and “Provincial”. Big city is Riga, the beginning of the 20th century, with its characteristic of that time and details. Cobblestone, fragment of the promenade of the river Daugava, several streets with facades of historic buildings, Windows, lace curtains and the walls-signs on old-Latvian, Russian and German, “Pharmacy”, “cigar”, “fashion and lingerie Shop”, “Beer”, “colonial goods”. In a provincial town or Pārdaugava (Pardaugava) are the facades of wooden houses, fire station, a church, a small market square, the gate of the factory, warehouse, an Inn. For tourists in town offers a variety of guided tours on the history of the town and shooting, Sightseeing in costumes-in the form of soldiers of the Latvian army and German army uniforms of British seamen, nurses or in historical costumes of the townspeople. These costumes can be photographed.

In the Movie the town has its own arsenal-Museum of military history, where you can see the military equipment, uniforms and weapons during World War II. In a fake parliamentary post office building opened Postal Museum and the post office. In the premises of the market works photo gallery where everyone can get his portrait in a historical costume or uniform, decorated in the style of old photos. But not without reason this equipment is a movie town. You can withdraw your own movie. To do this, you will be provided with scenery, costumes, props, kinotehniku and professionals Services-Director, cameraman, costume designer.

Briefly about Film City CINEVILLA:

150 hectares in total, large-scale scenery covers about 15 hectares, which consists of 3 main parts:
City – Riga; Suburb / Town – Pārdaugava; Rudolph Territory Complex;

  • Filmtown is the 4th Latvian city which has its own tram line
  • Located close to the capital Riga, as well as other historical Latvian cities – Tukums, Talsi, Kuldiga, Liepaja
  • Specializing in the early 20th century scenery (World War I and World War II)
  • Two filming pavilions
  • Vintage steam locomotive and passenger railcars
  • 60 m long railway platform
  • River Daugava and three historic bridges
  • Church
  • Hotel “Hotel Cinevilla”

Bauska Castle

Bauska Castle

Bauska CastleBausky Castle is located in a picturesque place – on a spit not far from the confluence of the rivers Musa and Memele. Here people from ancient times (according to archaeologists, 3500 years ago) settled along the shores of the three largest Zemgale rivers – Lielupe, Memele and Musa. This is evidenced by ancient settlements and burial grounds, discovered during archaeological excavations. Bauska Castle, once referred to in historical sources as Bauschkenborch, Bauskenburg, Powszke, Bawsenborg, Boske, Bowsenborch, Bauske, was built on the site of a fortified settlement of the Balthas of the late Bronze Age, during the reign of the Master of the Hevdenreich Master of Finland von Overberg (1439-1450). The Livonian Order built a fortress to strengthen its power over the Zemgale, defend the border with Lithuania and control the trade route from Lithuania to Riga, which crossed here Memele. Bauska Castle was not only a fortification, but also a center of the district, from where the Vogt (administrator and judge in the possession of the Order) exercised legal, financial and military control functions on his site.

The reasons for the erection of the castle in this place were very serious. In 1410, the Teutonic Order was defeated in the Battle of Grunwald, where the Livonian Order, which had settled in Latvia and Estonia, suffered losses, intervening in the dispute over the princely throne in Lithuania. The decisive battle took place on September 1, 1435 at the river Sventoji, in which the Order suffered the largest defeat in its history (more crushing even than the Battle of Ice in 1242 and the Battle of Durban in 1260). In it, the Master of the Livonian Order Kersdorf also died. Since then, Lithuanian troops began to disturb Livonia, its metropolitan Riga was only two cavalry crossings from the Lithuanian border. To protect the Lithuanian direction, it was decided to erect a new fortress at the confluence of the rivers Musa and Memele, where the main road to Riga passed.

The first known mention of the construction of the Bauska Fortress was found in a letter from the Order of Heydenreich Finch von Overberg of the Revel (Tallinn) Town Hall, dated 1443. What does it have to do with Tallinn? Because there was nobody to build the castle – the edge around Bauska was devastated by wars, a few surviving inhabitants of it “broke through” the smallpox epidemic. The entire southern edge of the central part of Latvia was depopulated, and for the construction of the castle it was necessary to have at least five hundred builders. It was decided to go to Russia and drive the inhabitants from there. Veliky Novgorod was at that time hostile to Moscow and did not have the strength to fully defend its western border. Knights invaded the poor but densely populated part of the Novgorod possessions near the town of Yarm. The prisoners were not Russians, but Finn-Finns from the Wot tribe, partly Finns, partly Slavs. As a result, the fortress was not only erected, but the Latvian population also rustled again in the deserted land.

It is believed that the construction of the Order Castella was completed in 1451. Near the castle, on a peninsula formed by deposits of the Memel and Mus rivers, a small settlement of craftsmen and fishermen, called the Schiigburgs, arose, already in 1584, liquidated by order of the Kurzeme Duke of Gothard Ketler. Vairogmests in documents for the first time is mentioned in 1518 under the name of Bauska. There were also a church, a school building and a tavern. According to linguists, the name of the town was either from the word bauska – bad meadow, or from the word bauze – the head, the top of the hill.

The residence of the Vogt was built taking into account the relief of the terrain according to a peculiar planning system: the towers are not located at the corners, as usual, but in the middle of the fortress walls, the thickness of the sections of the walls vulnerable to siege is twice the thickness of the others; the gate is sandwiched between two tall semicircular towers of different diameters. Until 1495 the castle was subordinated to the Jelgava (Mitava) komtur.

During the Livonian War, a defense treaty was signed in Vilnius on August 31, 1559, signed by the Master of the Livonian Order Gotthard Ketler and the Polish Chancellor Nikolai Radziwill. Under this treaty, the Polish state promised to provide the Livonian Order with an army to fight against Russia. As a payment for help, the Livonian Order was to temporarily transfer some border regions and fortresses to Poland. Bauska Fortress was transferred to the governor of the Polish king in December 1559.

The most famous in history is the last bogus of Bauska Heinrich (Indrikis) von Galen, who, together with Landmarshal Schall von Bell of Sigulda, his brother Kuldiga and Christoph von Sieberg of Kandava, in 1560 collected the remains of his troops and gave battle to Russian troops near Ermes (Ergeme). The attempt to confront a stronger enemy ended with the defeat of knights, more than 500 people lost they killed.

In 1561 the last Riga Archbishop Wilhelm of Brandenburg in exchange for a castle in Koknese received from the Poles Bauska Fortress. March 3, 1562, the Livonian Order was liquidated, and his last master, Gotthard Ketler, became the Duke of Kurzeme and Zemgale, swearing allegiance to the Polish King Sigismund II Augustus. At the end of the year the castle was handed over to the duke’s personal property. In 1568 the Duke convened the 2nd Kurland Landtag in the Bauska Fortress, where, among other things, it was decided that the Landtags in winter would be held in Mitau (Jelgava) and in summer in Bauska. Here were the landmarks of the Courland Duchy of 1568, 1590, 1601 and later.

According to the chronicle of Baltasar Russov, Duke Magnus negotiated in Bauska during the Livonian War: “In order to put an end to the matter with the king and get rid of the retribution with John the Terrible, Duke Magnus secretly left with his wife in Oberpalen [now Põltsamaa in Estonia] in Pilten. in 1578 he came to Bauska, where he entered into negotiations with Prince Nikolai Radzivil, the commander of Vilna and the hetman of Lithuania.The negotiations ended in 1579 by the fact that Duke Magnus gave all his possessions with the Pillenian episcopacy under the auspices of Lithuania, however, right to them his brother, the king of Denmark. ” And three years later the peace treaty in Zapolje on January 15, 1582, ended the Livonian War.

At the same time, they began to build a new Bausky castle instead of the eastern forburg of the old fortress. After the death of Gothard in 1587, the courtyard and office of the duchy moved to Bauska Castle and stayed here until 1596, which is considered the year of completion of the castle, as evidenced by the stone relief found in ruins with the inscription “Soli Deo Gloria Anno 1596”.

This year (1596), as envisaged in the will of the Duke of Gothard, the act of dividing the duchy between the sons of the old duke, Friedrich and Wilhelm, was signed in the castle of Kalnamuiza in the town of Tervete. Duke Friedrich, together with the court moved to Jelgava. In 1605, the Diet landed in Bauska for the last time.

It is believed that the status of the city of Bauska was received in 1609, when the Duke of Frederick awarded the city a coat of arms with the image of a lion.

In 1621, at the beginning of the Polish-Swedish war, the Swedish army occupied Riga and Jelgava. The court of the Duke Friedrich Ketler was temporarily located in the Bauska Castle, where he stayed until 1624. In 1625 the Swedish army, coming from Lithuania, surrounded Bausky Castle and managed to take it, thanks to the betrayal of one local burgher. Bauska Castle was the first to be captured by the Swedish king Gustav II Adolf in battle under his personal command. The Swedes remained in the castle until 1628, when the Polish commander Alexander Goncevsky managed to get them to leave the castle without a fight.

August 16, 1642 died the Duke of Frederick, and the throne was taken by the son of his brother Wilhelm – Jekab. In 1658, the Swedish army again invaded Zemgale and occupied Jelgava, took the duke’s family and forced to transfer to the Swedes Bausky and Dobele’s castles. To restore Bausky Castle, the Polish commander Alexander Polubinsky several times besieged him, but could not take it. The Swedish army left the ruined castle after the signing of the Olive Peace in 1660. During the war the castle was badly damaged.

In 1700, the Russian Tsar Peter I and King of Poland Augustus the Strong arrived in Bauska. There is a legend that both monarchs had breakfast together on a large stone, lying still and now on the corner of Kalnu and Rupniecibas streets. At the beginning of the Northern War, the Swedish army in 1701 won the Bauska castle. In Frauenburg (now Saldus) August 23, 1701 the Swedish king signed an order to build fortifications in Bauska. Major General Carl Magnus Stewart was commissioned to make a plan for new earth fortifications. Enormous work on restructuring began. At the end of August 1705, parts of the Russian army captured the whole of Kurland. On September 14, the Swedish garrison of the castle surrendered without a fight to the Russians. In March 1706, Russian Tsar Peter I ordered his generals to level the Yelgava and Bauska fortifications to the ground. Explosions mainly affected the bastions and earthen ramparts, as well as the southern part of the new castle.

After the Northern War, Duke Ferdinand Ketler in Kurzeme no longer returned. In the years 1710-11. A great plague raged in Bauska, where one third of the inhabitants died out. Survivors of the city secretly began to disassemble the castle ruins for their economic needs. At the end of the 18th century, during the Tadeusz Kosciuszko uprising, the Russian army sent to Bauska could no longer use the castle as a dwelling, because it was destroyed. In 1795, when the Courland Duchy was annexed to Russia, the Bauska District became the Bauska Uyezd in the province of Courland.

In 1812, German troops invaded Kurland from Napoleon’s conquered Prussia. They occupied Jelgava and Bauska (July 6), where they stayed from July to December. The invaders provided for the restoration of the Courland Duchy and its annexation to Prussia. In the war, France was defeated. Already in the autumn of 1812 Prussian troops were forced to leave Kurland.

With the castle in Bauska, as well as with others, numerous legends are associated. It is said, for example, that the Royal Library of Stockholm has preserved plans for the castle’s dungeons, indicating where exactly the treasures of the local nobility are buried and even the golden carriage of the duke is hidden. These rumors for a long time worried the minds of amateur archaeologists. At the end of XIX century. owner of the estate in Mezotne Paul von Lieven began excavating a secret passage that supposedly was between the estate and the castle, but the results of the search is unknown and, most likely, it is also a legend. During the revolution of 1905, on the ruins of the Bauska Castle on October 25, the first open rally took place, attended by about 2000 workers.

In 1973, work began on the restoration of part of the castle – the residence of the Courland Dukes. Currently, visitors can explore the ramparts, the ruins of the Castle Castle and climb to the observation deck in the central tower, which offers a picturesque view of the surrounding area. The museum offers a tour of the ducal residence. Here an exhibition “New Bausky Castle – History, Research, Restoration” was opened.

The old castle – the fortress of the Livonian Order in Bauska was erected at the confluence of the rivers Musa and Memele. The length of the castle was about 124 m, width 43 m, and the total area 5230 m. Five towers were connected by a thick fortification wall, to which from the inside are built buildings of different sizes for the needs of the garrison. The entrance was in the eastern part of the fortress between two four-story towers. Over the gate, several floors have been added, connecting the towers. In front of the gate was a defensive moat with a lifting bridge.

To the large, semicircular tower, sometimes referred to as the “Guardian of the Mountain” adjoins from the rear a quadrangular extension of the same height. Her premises were used together with a large tower. The first floor of the tower was covered with a cylindrical vault, and in the walls there were three loopholes. On the second floor there is a magnificent four-pointed star vault in the residence of Vogt. The thickness of the walls of the tower here reaches 4 m. In the north-west corner there is a fireplace and a chimney, and in the south – the exit to the dantzker. The third and fourth floors of the large tower were meant for the defense of the castle. The cellar under the Great Tower was used as a prison. Already in the XVI century. here was concluded a political opponent of the Master of the Order Burchard Valdis, author of stinging fables and epigrams.

On the north side of the gate is the second tower, smaller. At the cellar level, the towers were connected by an underground passage. The second floor of the small tower was adapted for housing. The first and upper floors, as well as superstructures above the gate used to protect the gate. At the fortress wall of 1.7 meters thick, which connects a small tower with a north-western quadrangular tower, there was a three-story building. The second floor of this building was blocked by cross vaults.

The north-west tower is pushed to the north, this provided the northern tower with flanking fire. In the middle of the western wall a tower with rounded corners is built. There was a cellar under the vaulted ceiling and on the first floor on three sides of the loophole. It’s difficult to judge about the top part – it collapsed, and in the old images of this tower it is not visible. Between the north-western and western towers in the fortress wall were a small gate.

In the middle of the southern fortress wall of 3.6 meters thick, a quadrangular tower is built, adapted for the use of guns. This is confirmed by chimneys in the central loophole. The shape and location of the tower indicate an early stage of the use of firearms. The further development of military art led to the placement of towers at the corners of the fortress in order to increase the area of ​​shelling. It is difficult to judge the height of the tower. In ancient drawings, it is half-ruined, but it is clearly visible that it was lower than the towers at the gate. The flounces on the second floor of the southern wall suggest that there was an annex – a building or a gallery. The yard of the fortress was laid with slabs of untreated dolomite. Of these, watercourses are also made. In the middle of the yard was a well.

Originally, the fortress gates were protected by a dry moat and a lifting bridge above it. The log fence rose above the moat. Later, the ditch fell asleep, and the forurb was built in the eastern part of the site. Three fortress walls and two corner towers formed a closed courtyard with a gate in the south wall near the southeast tower. Inside the new fortress, separate stone buildings were added to the walls. Outside, along the eastern wall, a moat was dug, which was filled in at the beginning of the 17th century.

The new castle is the residence of the Dukes of Courland. In the 70’s. XVI century. Forburg buildings of the old fortress were partially demolished in order to build the residence of the Courland Dukes in the liberated territory. During the construction, the old fortress wall, towers were preserved. Three horseshoe-placed two-story buildings and two towers formed a closed courtyard.

The layout of the premises is simple – a number of rooms connected to the suite. On the second floor of the northern building there were premises for representation and apartments for the duke. On both floors of the eastern building – living quarters. On the lower floors of the northern and southern buildings were warehouses and utility rooms. In the southern building at the gate there is a sentry room, on the other side of the gate, in the southeast tower there is a carriage. In the rooms of the second floor you could get on a narrow staircase in the wall or directly from the yard on the outer staircase.

Judging by the materials of archives and archaeological excavations, the old fortress was also used at that time. The flounces of the second floor of the northern wing are redone under the windows. On the first floor there were a brewery and a bakery, and in the cellars of cellars there were ammunition depots and a prison. At the end of the XVI century. during the construction of the new castle, new embankments around it were made, which continued to improve until the beginning of the XVIII century. The main attention was paid to strengthening the most accessible eastern side. Until 1625 a rondelle was built around the southeastern tower, a protective ditch, two bastions and a log fence. In the second half of the 17th century, the western side was probably strengthened and the reconstruction of the eastern bastions began.

The shaft system was refined once more at the beginning of the 18th century. Under the guidance of Swedish engineers, the ramparts and bastions on the east side were expanded towards the city. Most of all, the fortifications of the old fortress were rebuilt. New earthen ramparts poured closer to the banks of both rivers, pushing them away from the fortress wall. On the edges of the earth fortifications, in front of the lift bridges, ravelins were built.

The outer staircase and the rich interior decoration were partially lost in the 17th century. and finally destroyed in 1706, during the Northern War, when the castle and palazzo were blown up. At the end of XIX century. and in the 1930s. a fragmentary conservation and restoration of the castle was carried out. In 1821, the cellars of the castle were filled up on the orders of the Russian Tsar Alexander I, and the courses were sealed. Since 1959, extensive archaeological excavations, reconstruction, conservation have been conducted. As a result of the excavations, many finds and exhaustive information on the principles of building heating systems and furnaces of that time were obtained. In 1976, the archaeological investigation of the castle began (archaeologist A. Tsaune, then Grube). It was ascertained that before the castle on this place already in the I century. BC. e. There was a fortified settlement (ancient objects were found out of bone, flint and stone, fragments of clay vessels). In 1980, the buildings built during the reign of the Duke of Kurzeme were reconstructed.

In winter, the castle for tourists is closed, but here and now construction work is in full swing. In December 2007, under the New Year, building communications through earthen ramparts, near the most protective ditch builders discovered a cannon of the XVII century. It is supposed that it was cast on one of the cast iron foundries of the Kurzeme duchy and was probably one of those guns destroyed on the orders of Peter the Great.

At the end of the third week of July, the castle hosts a traditional festival of ancient music. Since 1990, the castle has a museum, which is open from 1 May to 1 November every day from 9:00 to 19:00. Beginning in the autumn of 2008, the halls of the New Palace will be able to get acquainted with the life and customs of the Mannerist era, having been visited by the Kurzeme Duke Gotthard Kettler and his wife Anna. One of the museum halls is entirely given to dolls. A doll house in several floors, an entire collection collected by the artist Tamara Chudnovskaya, and souvenir dolls, which for many years brought to the museum from all over the world its employees. Contact information of the museum in the castle.

The Legend of the Castle of Bauska

Exactly at midnight, the master who once built his walls rose to the tower of the Bauska castle, and continues to work. If you believe the local legend, many centuries ago a mason was buried near the castle, and his spirit can not reconcile with the fact that the work of his hands was destroyed by wars … There appear near the castle and two other ghosts – guards who slept through the castle gate. At night, they return to the place where the bridge leading to the castle was, and try to cut it, so that the enemy does not pass. For several centuries everyone has been sawing and sawing …

Jelgava Palace

Jelgava Palace

Jelgava Palace

Елгавский дворец.

The Jelgava Palace (Mitava Palace) is the most significant historical monument of Latvia. This is the largest palace of the country and the whole Baltic region, the winter residence of the Kurzeme duke Ernst Biron. Like the Rundale Palace, the Jelgava Palace was built according to the project of Baritolomeo Rastrelli. Initially, the palace consisted of 3 buildings, standing in the shape of a horseshoe, but in 1937 on the site of the former stables of the palace was built the fourth building, which closed the yard. In the palace built in 1738, Biron himself hardly lived because of the disgrace that began after the death of Anna Ionannovna. But it is known that in 1779, when the construction was already fully completed, his successor, Peter Biron, hosted the famous Count Cagliostro in the palace. The interior of the palace, which, according to Biron’s order, F.H. Barizien, IM Graf and the Italian painter d’Angioli were working on, was destroyed in 1918, when the Jelgava Palace was looted and burned by the retreating parts of Bermondt-Avalov. The palace suffered heavily during the 1944 military operations. Restoration, which was carried out in 1956-64, almost did not affect the interiors.

About the original interiors of the Mitava Palace, there is no detailed information. Apparently, when decorating the facades, festons, masks and stucco details were used for the Rundale residence. In the decorative design of these palaces you can find much in common. The largest historical interest is the burial vault of the Courland Dukes, located in the southeast of the basement floor in 1820. It contains three dozen sarcophagi made for the Dukes of the Ketler family from 1569 to 1743. Today in the palace is the Latvian Agricultural University and Jelgava Museum of History and Art. G. Elias. In 1740 in the basement of the palace a tomb was built for representatives of the dynasties of the Ketlers and Biron, which is also available for inspection.

The Kropotkin Palace

The Kropotkin Palace

Дворец Кропоткиных в Сигулде.

In the 17th century, a landlord’s estate began to be formed on the territory of Sigulda Castle. Until now, there are several buildings that were built in the 18th and 19th centuries in the days of the von der Borchov and Kropotkin owners-the Summer Castle, the New Castle, the White Castle, the burial house, the manor house, the barn, the laundry, the cellars for storing root vegetables and vegetables.

The new palace (the Kropotkin Palace) in Sigulda was built by Princess Olga Kropotkina, born to Countess von der Borch, in 1878 – 1882 at the place of the Order Castle. The Kropotkin Palace was built in the style of the Tude Neo-Gothic from large, processed, boulders. Managed the work of the master bricklayer Jānis Mengelis.

Visiting the Kropotkins, who spent the summer months in this palace, there were many high-ranking guests from the capital.

During the First World War the building was destroyed.
In 1921 the restored Kropotkin Palace was taken over by the state. In 1923, the Society of Journalists was located in the palace. In 1930 in the windows of the palace were stained glass M. Strunka “Four Seasons”. K. Skuinya painted paintings in the building.

In 1936-1937 in the palace – the House of Creativity or the Palace of the Press – perestroika was carried out. According to the project of architect A. Birkans, the height of the tower was increased. The authors of the interior are well-known Latvian artists of Latvia: Vilis Vasarinsh, Niklavs Strunke, Peteris Ozolins, Karlis Suniņš.

During the Second World War the Kropotkin Palace was used for the needs of the Nord headquarters of the German army. After the war, the Council of Ministers of the USSR placed a rest house for officials of the highest rank in the palace.
In 1953, the palace housed the cardiological and climatic sanatorium “Sigulda”.

After the restoration of the independence of Latvia in 1991, the Kropotkin Palace left the state and since 2003 there is the Sigulda Duma, a restaurant here.

Next to the New Castle is the so-called Yellow House (it’s the Summer Castle). It was built in the style of classicism at the turn of the XVIII-XIX centuries. The wooden longitudinal building was erected under the guidance of a master from the city of Cesis, called the last larva of Vidzeme, Marcis Sarums. Here Kropotkin lived until the completion of the construction of the New Palace. Here is a small church where services for the owners of the estate were conducted.


Ligatne – nature trails


Līgatne – the natural trails of the Gauja National Park were established in 1975 to familiarize visitors with nature, breeds of wild mammals living in Latvia, the diversity of nature and the need for protection.

On the banks of the Gauja River, in a forest-rich ravine, for more than 5 km, there are trails where animals and birds characteristic of the Latvian fauna can be observed. The visit takes an average of 2-2.5 hours.

Found on the nature trails in Līgatne, wild animals are brought from various places in Latvia. They were wounded or tamed cubs of animals that can not survive without human care and constantly find food. Roaches of the Ligatne nature trails can be observed roe deer, wild boars, bears, foxes, wolves, elks, lynxes, owls, owls and bison.

Visiting the nature trails in Līgatne, visitors are advised to wear comfortable, suitable for hiking clothes and shoes.

Caves in Ligatne

In Ligatne and its environs there is a significant amount of outcrops of sandstone, which we call rocks and rocks. Perhaps, here is the largest concentration of sandstone in Latvia, which residents of Ligatne and its environs, for many years used for domestic and industrial purposes, creating systems of caves and cellars.

Several rocks – Lustusis, Anfabrica rocks and Springs are protected natural objects of national importance. And in Ligatne and its environs there are several dozens of rocks and rocks, and the value of all these pearls of nature is no less significant, because how not to mention the rocks of Gudu, the rocks of Kuku, the Zvarte breed and others.

Very interesting discoveries are associated with caves and cellars in the rocks. And immediately it is worth recalling that this is not a scourge of Soviet times, the tradition of using the advantages given by nature in Ligatne has a more ancient history.
Here is what Aivar Balodis, a researcher of Ligatne’s history, writes about this:

“Every respected person thinks that with cellars Ligatne is more than clear, here we are talking about cellars carved in sandstone rocks.The pink, golden and gray sandstone rocks were formed 350-370 million years ago.They were formed by the descent of particles of sand, silty and clayey rocks that settled, compacted and cemented, formed today visible sandstone and dolomite or sedimentary rocks. ”
Visiting caves and cellars Ligatne is accessible to tourists only with the help of a guide!

Especially secret object of Soviet times, code-named “Boarding house”.

On the territory of the Līgatne rehabilitation center at a depth of 9 m under the ground there is a well-equipped bunker with an area of ​​2000 m2, the brand of secrecy from which was removed only in 2003. The bunker was built in the 80s of the last century for the needs of the political and state elite in the event of the country’s nuclear war. The secret shelter of the first secretaries of the Soviet Communist Party, the bunker was one and strategically important places in Soviet Latvia in the event of a nuclear war. The most powerful autonomous economic structure with all the necessary and the newest equipment of that time. Up to now, it has been possible to preserve all authentic underground equipment!

Riga Castle Latvia

The Riga Knight’s Castle

Рижский замок

Riga Castle is one of the most famous and popular sights of Riga, which Russian and foreign tourists visit with pleasure.

The castle was founded in 1330 by the master of the Livonian Order, Eberhard von Monheim. It was a three-story building encircling a square courtyard. On the lower floor there were business premises, on the second floor – the cells of the brothers of the order, the master’s residence, meeting rooms, the refectory, the chapel.

In 1481, the armed struggle of the townspeople and the Order broke out. Rigans began the siege of the Riga Castle, and its defenders were forced to lay down their arms. For three days in a row, the townspeople smashed the walls and towers of the castle. In 1491, the Order besieged Riga and the city capitulated. The townspeople had to return all the spoiled property of the order and build a new castle.

The Master of the Order Walter von Plettenberg himself drew a general plan of the castle in the form of a 4-coal building with corner towers. The construction of the new Riga Castle was completed in 1515 and the last years of the Livonian Order’s might had to be built. The cube building was fortified with two powerful round towers – the tower of the Holy Spirit and the Lead Tower. On the first floor of the castle housed economic services, on the second – the rooms of the Master of the Order, the bedchamber of the brothers of the Order and the chapel. They adjoined the main halls and the refectory. After the fall of the Livonian Order, the Riga Castle served as the seat of the Polish administration and retained its importance as a fortress. The garrison of the castle was about 300 riders and several guns. When Riga passed under the power of the Swedes, the residence of the Swedish administration resided in the Riga Castle. In 1649, a new two-storeyed stone building with a corner bay window was built on the site of the forurb. There is a legend that this bay window was ordered to build Queen Christina.

At the beginning of the XIV century, the Riga Castle was surrounded by a defensive moat, and in the 16th century it was fortified with an earthen rampart and bastions. In 1682, the building of the arsenal was added to the castle. When Riga became part of the Russian Empire, the residence of the Governor-General settled down in the Riga Castle. In the XIX century the castle was repeatedly rebuilt. In the Riga Castle from 1801 to 1803 served as the secretary of the Governor-General of Prince Sergei Golitsyn famous fabulist IA Krylov. In 1938 the Riga Castle became the residence of the President of the Republic of Latvia. From 1940 until February 1941, the Latvian Council of People’s Commissars was located in the castle, and in February 1941 the Palace of Pioneers was opened here. Currently in the southern part of the castle there are expositions of the Museum of Foreign Art, the Museum of History of Latvia and the Museum of Literature and the History of Art named after Rainis. Since June 12, 1995, the official residence of the President of Latvia has been located in the Riga Castle.

Dome Cathedral in Riga

The Dome Cathedral

Dome Cathedral in Riga

Домский собор в Риге

The Riga Dome Cathedral is a symbol and one of the main sights of the city of Riga. The Dome Cathedral is the largest medieval temple in the Baltic States. First and foremost, the Dome Cathedral is identified with religion and faith. The dome cathedral, not just a building – this architectural project is listed in the World Heritage List, for more than a century now it has glorified the name of its architect EF. Valker. The name of the cathedral comes from the Latin expressions – “Domus Dei” (“House of God”). At present it is the main church building of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Latvia. Along with the church of St. Peter and the Cathedral of St. Echobus, is the high altitude dominant of Old Riga and the forming city-building element of the old city (in particular, the key building of the Dome Square).

His builder was the bishop of Riga Albert, the founder of the Order of the “Brothers of Christ’s Knighthood”, better known as the Sword-bearers. With their help, he conquered the Livonian tribes and settled in Livonia. In 1210, a fishing village burned down next to the bishop’s house, and Albert took the opportunity to seize this piece of land. In 1211, the foundation stone of the cathedral was laid and the land dedicated to construction was consecrated. The temple was spent huge funds collected in the form of taxes from the conquered Baltic lands. The Bishop’s Cathedral was to surpass the church of St. Petra, which then began to build artisans and merchants of Riga. Albert invited architects from Germany and set before them the task of building a temple in a new, blooming Gothic style. Grandiose arches supported by columns, stained-glass windows, an abundance of sculpture, a plan in the form of a cross – all these Gothic features were completely uncharacteristic of local architecture, so the majestic building of the cathedral rose above the city as a symbol of the triumph of the Catholic Church.

Near the Dome Cathedral was built a monastery for the House Chapter. At the end of the 16th century an organ was installed in the cathedral. The final view of the cathedral was acquired only in the XVIII century, after several restructuring. For example, the shape of the tower, which was struck four times by lightning, changed every time, depending on the tastes of the era. Organ Hall in Dome Cathedral, one of the most popular places for tourists. The body, which has incredible acoustic power, has four sets of keys for the hands. He was reconstructed three times. Works for the great organ were written by many outstanding composers and gave their concerts right in the cathedral. At the time of its construction in the world there was no organ that would outnumber this one in size.

For many years, the cultural layer around the cathedral has grown substantially, as the cathedral has stood irrevocably all these years, and around it continually disappeared and again new settlements arose. Now, in order to get inside the church you need to go down the steps, and before you had to climb up, but time does not stand still. The Dome Church itself was restored in 1959 – 1962, it recreated the interior exactly the way it was more than four hundred years ago, and still under its arches the organ sounds. Today in the monastery buildings there is the Museum of the History of Riga and the Museum of Navigation.

Orthodox Cathedral

Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ

Кафедральный собор в РигеThe Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ in Riga.

The need to build a new cathedral in Riga was discussed at the end of the 18th century. But the practical realization of this idea began to be realized only after a hundred years. With the blessing of the bishop of Riga and Mitavsky Veniamin (Karelin) in the seventies of the XIX century, collection of donations for the future church was started. Six months later, Prince Bagration, as Governor-General of the Baltic region, sent a petition to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia to build a worthy cathedral in Riga.

Nature itself has joined the petition. On September 1, 1873, a hurricane storm broke over Riga. One of the thunderbolts struck at the Petro-Pavlovsky cathedral. The upper cornice of the bell tower collapsed. Fire destroyed part of the painting. In many places gilding has disappeared. Without the glass there were the upper windows. The cathedral, already very tight and modest in decoration, began to demand considerable repairs.

This circumstance hastened the solution of the problem. April 17, 1874, at the behest of Alexander II, the Riga diocese is allocated 900 thousand rubles.

And at this time, three famous Riga architects Ya.-F. Bauman, G. Shel and R. Pflug have already completed work on their projects of the future cathedral.

Each project took place in Riga, St. Petersburg and Moscow, a competent expert evaluation. As a result, in December 1875, on the project of Academician Pflug, the resolution of Alexander II was inscribed: “To begin construction …”

Construction was given in a row on a competitive basis. Preference was given to the Vilnius provincial architect Academician Chagin.

The consecration of the cathedral’s bookmark took place on July 3, 1876. The first stone to the future building was laid by the Bishop of Riga and Mitavsky Serafim (Protopopov).

By the beginning of the eighties of the XIX century the construction of the building was almost completed. But at that time Alexander III sent 12 bells to the church. The largest, in the name of Alexander Nevsky, weighed more than 800 poods. Each bell was an outstanding work of art casting. They emptied at the factory of the Moscow merchant Nikolai Dmitrievich of Finland. One of the outstanding masters of the end of the XIX century Xenophon Verevkin cast the bells.

This ensemble of bells required a special architectural solution for their placement. R. Pflugu ordered additional design. The architect’s project proved to be very successful. The bell tower above the main entrance to the church created a special perspective. Performed in a single architectural style with the cathedral, it gave a large volume to a very high overall building.

In eight years the construction of the temple was completely completed. On April 24, 1884, it was transferred to the authority of the spiritual department. And on Saturday, October 27, 1884, the ring of all 12 bells of Christ the Savior Cathedral was first heard over Riga.

Soon the Riga cathedral becomes the universally recognized spiritual center not only of Riga, but of the whole region. Many prominent representatives of the clergy take part in its activities. A number of sources have preserved information that in September 1894 the church service was performed here by Protopriest John of Kronstadt, now ranked as a saint.

At the head of the multilateral activities of the cathedral were his abbots. The first of them is Archpriest V. S. Knyazev. Professor of church and biblical history, canon law and church archeology, he contributed in every possible way to enrich the spiritual, moral and aesthetic level of the temple’s activity, to broadly familiarize the Orthodox Rigans with the history of culture and ancient traditions.

In the first decade of the 20th century Archpriest VI Plis, a teacher of the Riga Theological Seminary, was appointed head of the cathedral. Thanks to the outstanding representatives of the clergy and highly educated Riga residents, the prestige of the cathedral was exceptionally high, especially since the services were performed here in four languages: Church Slavonic, Latvian, Estonian and German.

According to the testimony of contemporaries, every visit to the cathedral brought people a spiritual rest, the joy of a highly spiritual state. This in no small measure contributed to the special internal atmosphere of the temple, its decoration, the overall harmony of everything around.

A single artistic solution was carved iconostasis and choir. They were decorated with patterned columns, a gilt ornament made of cast zinc, a unique woodcarving. A special artistic value was represented by openwork gilded gates of the main side-chapel. In the general style of the cathedral, church utensils fit in. All its items were made of silver of the 84th test by the skillful masters of Moscow manufacturer Hlebnikov.

For several years, the vestry of the cathedral was created. Vestments of the clergy sewed the best gold embroidered workshop of the brocade products of the St. Petersburg merchant Zheverzheyev. Unfortunately, the authors and performers of these unique products remained unknown.

A truly precious treasure of Christ the Savior’s Nativity Cathedral was his collection of icons. They were performed on canvas and zinc, white metal and a cypress board. They were written on a golden background, focusing on samples of ancient church painting. Many people donated icons to the cathedral and personally participated in the enrichment of this outstanding icon collection, some of which were preserved from the foundation of the Riga diocese (1850).

Among the icons of the earliest letter were those that were transferred by the procession from the Petro-Pavlovsky church on the day of the consecration of the new cathedral. A significant part of the icons was made on the special order of the construction committee. Their authors are outstanding artists. Brushes of V.Vereshchagin belonged to the church icons “Nativity of Christ”, “Nativity of the Blessed Virgin” and “St. Alexander Nevskiy”. He was also the author of the icons of the first tier of the main iconostasis and the Royal Gates.

Icons of the second and third tiers of the main iconostasis were painted by the artist Vasilyev. Among the works of K. Shamshin, the icons “Our Lady with the Child” and “John the Baptist” are known.

Among donors of icons there were not only рижане, but also inhabitants of many other places, in particular Petersburg and Moscow.

It is known that 850 items were listed in the main and additional church and figurative descriptions. All of them had church, historical, artistic and material value. These included church painting, liturgical books, vestments, miter, carpets and much more. A significant part of these unique values ​​was donated by the citizens of Riga. Riga’s benefactors were so numerous that it was impossible to name them all. Gifts came from the Riga merchant class, high society circles, various societies.

In general, more than half a million rubles were spent on the construction of the cathedral. The internal arrangement cost 140,212 rubles 87 kopecks. This at a time when the pound (400 g) of bread cost 2 kopecks, and meat – 15, a thousand times cheaper than now, silver.

The tragic turn in the fate of the temple began in the First World War. In 1918 the Riga municipality actually closed the cathedral. Worship was forbidden in him. And when Archbishop John Pommer arrived in Latvia at the invitation of the All-Slavic Council of Orthodox parishes, he found the church in a catastrophic state.

Windows without glasses. The belfry without its own unique bells. The furniture is desecrated. Dear, the artwork of the iconostasis is perekorezheny, dumped in a heap. The painting is crushed, the crucifix is ​​thrown into the garbage. All that was of value disappeared. About who is to blame for this and where the most valuable monuments of Orthodox church art, centuries-old culture have disappeared, are still arguing. There are many versions, but there was not much to return.

The difficult path to resurrection began with the fact that His Eminence Archbishop John (Pommer), in order to prevent the further destruction of the temple, to collect everything that was still left and which could be put in order, restored, settled in the cellar of the cathedral. A stove was added for heating. Gradually, at the cost of considerable effort and a difficult struggle, the restoration of the temple began. Rigans also helped those Russians who suddenly became emigrants, lost everything, lost their roof over their heads.

The work of the cathedral was resuming with difficulty. Initially, each divine service required a special permission from the authorities. And only since Christmas 1922 the cathedral began its daily service. Divine services were performed in the Church Slavonic and Latvian languages.

By the mid 30-ies the cathedral was put in order, the painting was renewed. There was a stubborn struggle for the return of the former property of the cathedral, including icons, church utensils. The temple once again became the spiritual center of Riga.

A new blow was struck by the Second World War. Again the devastation and resurrection of the cathedral again. After the war, there was a normal spiritual life. The cathedral continued to be a spiritual support for many and many people who knew the horrors and troubles of this monstrous war.

But what did not destroy the two world wars and the revolution was ruined in the 60s. By an order of the Council of Ministers on October 5, 1963, the cathedral was closed. This time, everything was destroyed and rastasknano. From the cathedral there were only walls. But they are disfigured, they are blocked with reinforced concrete, floor coverings are made. Build up and reshape the internal space, destroying the painting. People from “knowledge” turn the temple into a profitable place and exploit it for thirty years.

Only from July 1991 began a difficult path to resurrection. Almost five years there was a dismantling. The difficulty was that the ceiling ceilings, unknown as laid, created a threat to the walls of the building itself. Not only considerable funds were required, but also extreme caution. A special difficulty was the restoration work of the central dome.

The spiritual life of the cathedral began in the hardest conditions on January 6, 1992, when His Eminence Vladyka Alexander performed the first divine service. Since then, regular worship services have been started. Simultaneously, with incredible difficulties, but continuously, day after day, restoration work was carried out. Every step in this direction from year to year is given with great difficulty. Now the Cathedral is beautifully painted. Covered with copper all the domes, made a new roof. The cross on the central dome is gilded. But much remains to be done.

Families of philanthropists Vladimir Ivanovich Malyshkov and Igor Vladimirovich Malyshkov donated a beautiful iconostasis.

Through the efforts of many people, the “Rizhsky”, three times resurrected, as it is called by the people, the Nativity Cathedral, has already found its worthy place in the spiritual and cultural life of Latvia.

The information is taken from the official site of the Riga Cathedral –


St. Jacob's Cathedral

St. Jacob’s Cathedral

St. Jacob’s Cathedral in Riga

Собор Святого Иакова в Риге

St. Jacob’s Cathedral in Riga is the main Catholic church in Latvia, the fourth largest church in Riga. Cathedral. St. Jacob is a monument of brick Gothic. The first mention of the church, which was in place of the current cathedral, dates back to 1225. This date, engraved on the central western facade of the church, is considered a conjectural year of the construction of the Church of St. James.

During the reformation in 1552, parishioners risked conducting the first in the history of Riga divine service in the Lutheran models in this church. In 1524, during the peak of anti-Catholic unrest, the St. Jacob’s Church, like most of the Catholic churches in the city, was defeated, resulting in the almost complete destruction of the interior.

During the siege of the city by the Russian troops of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, several shells enter the St. James Church. Two of them in memory of the siege of Riga were walled in the walls of the central facade, and two more – in the altar.

Throughout its history, the church has several times changed its religion and partially rebuilt. In 1756, a pointed spire in the form of an octahedron was attached to the main church building. In 1782 a new central portal was built. Since 1923 the Church of St. James again belongs to the Catholic faith.

The height of the church tower, including the spire, is 80 meters. In interior interiors one can see a floral ornament decorating the capitals on church choirs. This type of ornament is rare for the church canon of Gothic sculptural decoration. Initially, the church was a hall type, today it is a three-nave structure, which is 27 to 50 meters in plan. In general, the interior of the church is simple and laconic, which, however, corresponds to the concept of the design of Catholic sacral buildings. In 1736, on the spire of the church tower was placed a traditional weather vane in the form of a cock, which we can see today.

In 1680 in the church, which at that time was the main royal Lutheran church, an altar was created. It is assumed that he is the earliest altar in Latvia, executed in the baroque style. Who is the creator of this altar is unknown. In 1902, it was decided to eliminate the altar, which had already fallen into disrepair. For the construction of the new, two masters were invited: the woodcarver Jacob Schrad and the sculptor Christophe Mittelhausen. Despite the fact that the old altar was dismantled, something of it survived, namely the adorned carved figure of the angels, which are kept in the museum of the history of Riga and navigation. In 1924, a new altar appeared, which was already the third in a row.

One of the interesting elements of the interior of the church of St. James is the department. It is made in the Empire style, it was made by the master August Gotthelf Heibel in 1810. The chair is made of red woods, its area contains intarsia with rich vegetal ornamentation and exquisite arabesques. In general, the peculiarity of the temple is a mixture of architectural styles in the interior of the church, whereas outside it is relatively homogeneous.

In 1761, the organ master Henry Andrew Koncius began to create an organ for the church. To this day this organ has not survived. The new one was made in 1913, the master of the modern organ was the master E. Martin. The windows of St. Jacob’s Cathedral are covered with stained-glass windows, the time of their creation dates back to the last century. So three bright stained-glass windows, which decorate the windows of the eastern wall of the choir, were made in 1902 in Art Nouveau style.

Church of St. Peter

Church of St. Peter

Church of St. Peter in Riga

Церковь Святого Петра в Риге

St. Peter’s Church in Riga is a unique symbol and one of the main sights of the city of Riga (Latvia). For the first time this outstanding work of architecture was mentioned in 1209. The church is known for its unusual spire, whose height is 64.5 meters with a total height of the church tower of 123.5 meters.

St. Peter’s Church was erected as a people’s church. It, in defiance of the Dome Cathedral, which was built by the authorities of Riga, was built on the collected funds from artisans, merchants and even ordinary peasants. At the same time, the Church of St. Peter was the main religious building of the privileged stratum of the population in feudal Riga. One of the oldest schools of the city worked at the temple.

The temple is built in the Gothic style. Initially, the room was not very large. The erection of an ordinary church was planned. But in the beginning of the 15th century a new altar part of the building and a bell tower in the Gothic style were erected. After, in the 17th century, the decorated baroque portals were erected, and a spire appeared at the church, which we can still see today.

The spire of St. Peter’s Church is the most recognizable part of it and the inseparable component of the panorama of the city of Riga.

In the XIII century, the tower of the temple, perhaps, was a separate building. For the first time, as part of the church, the tower was built at the end of the XV century. It was then that an octagonal spire of wood was erected, which stood for almost two hundred years. In the middle of the XVII century, the aged spire collapsed. One of the houses suffered, and eight people died. The spire was rebuilt the following year, but 10 years later it burned down. In 1690, the spire was rebuilt. It is interesting that this spire for a long time was the highest spire of wood in Europe, whose height is 64.5 meters with a total height of the church tower of 123.5 meters.

In 1721, a lightning bolt hit the tower of St. Peter’s Church. There was a fire. His extinguishment was attended by the Russian Emperor Peter I, who was in Riga at this time. Unfortunately, the fire could not be extinguished. The spire almost completely burnt out and collapsed. Fortunately, the burning spire did not hit the city, but “formed itself into itself.” This did not cause unnecessary destruction. According to the legends, the prayers of Peter I helped. In the same year, Peter I ordered to reconstruct the spire by his decree. The work ended only two decades later – in 1741. There was a reconstituted spire exactly two centuries and was destroyed on the day of St. Peter’s memory (according to the Gregorian calendar). The church suffered badly during the Second World War. For a long time the building was destroyed. And only in 1966 it was restored. The construction of the spire was completed only in 1973. The shape and size of the new spire completely repeated the original. But it was made of metal. In the spire there were two observation platforms at an altitude of 57 and 71 meters. And for the convenience of visitors was installed a lift and reinforced concrete stairs.

Today, tourists and visitors of the city enjoy the most popular sightings of St. Peter’s Church, and the spire itself is depicted on many photographs and souvenirs.