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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:11 AM   #1
Gatis
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Palaces, manor houses and villas in Latvia - great photothread

My database currently has got data about 577 existing castles, palaces and manor houses in Latvia - but I believe that there are some 750 existing today. Although here have been huge lots of wars, people have hated and neglected those buildings, nowadays we experience the great revival of palaces in Latvia. I suppose that some 70 manor houses and palaces have been renovated over the last years and a lot more will be renovated soon. Also parks around the palaces are becoming better.

This thread will show some 50 of those buildings - only my own pictures. Here are some of the best, but not all - f.e. such great palaces as Svente, Ungurmuiza, Atasiene, Edole, Stameriena, Aluksne, Ventspils etc. etc. are missing. Are included also some palaces which are in bad condition. Unfortunately most are in bad condition - but this majority is rather boring to look at - ruins, bleak buildings etc.

Here overview map, showing the palaces of this thread. As you can see, I have been bad towards the eastern part of Latvia, although there are lots of great palaces. Will try to do my best in future

- - -
I have no pictures of Latgale palaces here. Sorry

Let's start with the south-east (Selonia):

1. Kalkune palace (1892) in outskirts of Daugavpils three years ago. Forgotten and falling apart.


2. Bebrene palace (1896) - also three years ago. Now - school.


3. Garsene palace, 19th century. Impressive neogothics - but looks somehow unbalanced.

- - -
Central Vidzeme is very rich with palaces, but here represented only with:

4. Cesvaine palace (1897). It burned down some years ago and now is reconstructed.

- - -
Northern Vidzeme palaces are well represented here, although some of the good ones still are missing. Let's start from the north:

5. The small Vīķi manor house is built in 1890. Now - psychiatric clinic for children.


6. Waltenberg palace in Mazsalaca, 1780. Nice classicism building with school inside.




7. Small and little known villa near Limbazi - Kipeni manor house, scond half of 19th century. Now private villa, under renovation.


8. Ozolmuiza - built in Classicism style in late 18th century. Now technical school inside.


9. Puikule palace - impressive neogothic building, 19th century. School.


10. Kokmuiza palace near Valmiera - beginning of 17th century.


11. The new manor house of Murmuiza (middle 19th century) - simple and unpretentious but in good harmony with surroundings.


12. Lielstraupe medieval palace (14th century) - I still have to bring good pictures from there.


13. Dikli palace (1800) - recently renovated, hotel and place for events.




14. Igate manor house (around 1880) - also renovated recently.




15. Birini palace (1860). Great place for events.




16. Turaida medieval castle (1214). It is constantly renovated, great museum inside:




17. Krimulda palace (1854), children sanatorium.


18. The new Sigulda palace, town council is there.




View from Sigulda palace across the Gauja valley to Krimulda palace:


- - -
Greater Riga region palaces. Here are located more than 100 palaces and villas - but... for most part they are in a bad condition. Especially those which are inside Riga. Why? Don' t know.

19. Rakstnieku pils in Garkalne. Barocco? No, imaginary replica of barocco style palace - brand new apartment building with beautiful park and fountain. To be completed in 2008 There are some more "jokes" like this around Riga.


20. Svarcmuiza (1850) close to future highrise district in Kipsala. It is behind high fence.


21. Bonaventura palace close to Etgnographic Museum. great place but the building is in bad condition


22. Depkin manor house, late 18th century, technically outside Riga but surrounded with city. Renovated.


23. Dole manor house on Dole island south from Riga. Beautiful place with great views over Daugava valley!


24. Villa of Bingners in Sarkandaugava historical district, northern part of Riga. "Aldaris" beer is produced some 400 m from here.


25. Riga castle (1330). One day I will bring a proper picture. Btw. castle is in a bad condition.


26. Suzi palace at Kisezers lake (inside Riga) after 50 years in Soviet military base and 15 years in Latvian army base. Just at the beginning of 2007 it became available to common people and now lots of construction technics are working here around. I am sure that in few years we will see this palace in its former glory.


27. One of three wooden 18th century palaces inside Riga Botanical garden. All are in bad condition.


28. Anninmuiza palace in Imanta. Yes, Anninmuiza blvd. with all it's highrises got it's name from this building. Why it is in such condition - it' s beynd my understanding.


29. Maikapar villa in northern part of Centrum (1876). Hard to take proper pictures through the fence.


30. Hartman manor at Kalnciema Street (late 18th centry). Now historical (not new) city is around it, but once upon a time this was outside the city.

- - -
Zemgale - region to the south from Riga. There are some of the most impressive palaces in Latvia.

31. Jelgava palace (1740) - the largest palace in Latvia. Heavily destroyed in wars of 20th century, now University of Agriculture inside. Renovation on-going.




32. Valdeka palace (second half of 19th century) some kilometres from Jelgava palace.


33. Rundale palace (1740). The most impressive palace in Latvia, under thorough restoration.








34. Svitene palace nearby, early 19th century. Inside of this palace is hidden much older building - early medieval palace.


35. Skaistkalne manor house (1901). Represents new times, less ornaments.


36. Little known Abgunste palace (1780) just days before renovation starts.


37. Blankenfelde manor complex (late 18th century) close to border with Lithuania. Abandoned but still in good shape. In the picture - central entrance in the complex.


38. Brukna palace - rehabilitation centre for drug addicts. Palace was nearly falling apart some years ago, but now those young guys are hard working to turn this place into paradise.


39. Bauska castle (1443). Town is slowly renovating this enormous castle.


40. Mezotne palace (1802). IMHO this palace with its park is One of the most beautiful and harmonious places in region.




41. Zalenieki palace (1775). Late Barocco.


42. Vecauce palace (1843). One of the best Neogothic palaces in Latvia - three years ago. Now it should look a lot better.
[IMG]http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/8168/vecaucespils214aug05nb9.jpg[/IMG

43. Lielauce palace (early 19th century) nearby - simple but pleasant palace at Lielauce lake.


44. Kaucminde palace near Bauska (~1800). In bad shape and almost abandoned

---

Ok, I will leave Kurzeme for tomorrow. It gets too late.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:23 AM   #2
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WOW !!!! Impressive architecture! Jelgava and Rundale palace look amazing !!! We have nothing like that in Finland I don't think!!!!

what is the history of these two beautiful palaces?
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Old September 30th, 2007, 10:39 AM   #3
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lots of nice manors and castles, sad that some of them aren't renovated, we have the same problem in Estonia
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Old September 30th, 2007, 11:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by designwise View Post
WOW !!!! Impressive architecture! Jelgava and Rundale palace look amazing !!! We have nothing like that in Finland I don't think!!!!

what is the history of these two beautiful palaces?
That's the typical thinking of a Finnish person. I know, past is past, but there was a price of 600 years of slavery to pay for these palaces.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #5
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Interesting stuff. Latvia is so great and wonderful country.
Many of people knows about Latvia's beauty, but only a few can understand it! Thanks again!
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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:01 PM   #6
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I know, past is past, but there was a price of 600 years of slavery to pay for these palaces.
What slavery? If there were no German invasion, Russians could invade Baltic states much earlier and there would be no Estonia and the Estonian language/ Latvia and the Latvian language. Pretty possible, yeah? So, I think, there is no reason to speak about 700 years of slavery in Latvia or 600 years of slavery in Estonia.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:03 PM   #7
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Great thread, loads of interesting pieces of architecture and history combined, thanks for posting the thread!
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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ita Simpsone View Post
What slavery? If there were no German invasion, Russians could invade Baltic states much earlier and there would be no Estonia and the Estonian language/ Latvia and the Latvian language. Pretty possible, yeah? So, I think, there is no reason to speak about 700 years of slavery in Latvia or 600 years of slavery in Estonia.
So you really think Germans were the good guys? Germans did practically EVERYTHING to turn estonians into germans, but estonians were stiff-necked so it fortunately didn't happen.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ita Simpsone View Post
What slavery? If there were no German invasion, Russians could invade Baltic states much earlier and there would be no Estonia and the Estonian language/ Latvia and the Latvian language. Pretty possible, yeah? So, I think, there is no reason to speak about 700 years of slavery in Latvia or 600 years of slavery in Estonia.
Read some history books please before you make such stupid statements.
Ever heard about old prussians and their sad story?

Last edited by indipuk; September 30th, 2007 at 05:10 PM.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:31 PM   #10
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So you really think Germans were the good guys?
I think, there were neither bad nor good guys. If not Germans, who else? Danes/Swedes/Finns/Russians/Poles?
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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ita Simpsone View Post
I think, there were neither bad nor good guys. If not Germans, who else? Danes/Swedes/Finns/Russians/Poles?
So slavery is not bad in your opinion?
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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:34 PM   #12
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So slavery is not bad in your opinion?
My opinion is, that nobody would leave Estonia alone.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ita Simpsone View Post
I think, there were neither bad nor good guys. If not Germans, who else? Danes/Swedes/Finns/Russians/Poles?
ALL of them were BAD guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ita Simpsone View Post
My opinion is, that nobody would leave Estonia alone.
Typical latvian pessimist.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 03:40 PM   #14
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My opinion is, that nobody would leave Estonia alone.
It would've been impossible to give a more "round" answer. Yeah, nobody would have left Estonia alone, but Swedes didn't force us to learn Swedish. Swedes built a University and created a network of elementary schools for local people. During Swedish time local people had a lot more rights than before. Germans didn't allow that....And when Russians came, we were back in the middle ages again so there is a difference between a conquerer and a conquerer.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebasepoiss View Post
It would've been impossible to give a more "round" answer. Yeah, nobody would have left Estonia alone, but Swedes didn't force us to learn Swedish. Swedes built a University and created a network of elementary schools for local people. During Swedish time local people had a lot more rights than before. Germans didn't allow that....And when Russians came, we were back in the middle ages again so there is a difference between a conquerer and a conquerer.
You somewhat contradict yourself, because quite a few manor-houses were built during the Swedish reign in Latvia.

I don't know, I might have slave mentality (or maybe I have too much German blood running in my veins), but I don't think that Germans are the worst people to be conquered by. I know that the Swedish rule was the most benign of all the foreign regimes in Latvia, but still - in Europe before the Industrial Revolution you either had to fight and risk death, or give up and do your master's bidding.

I am in fact grateful to Germans (and all the other conquerors) for leaving these beautiful structures all over Latvia. Now the conquerors are gone, but the palaces still stand. As for the price we had to pay - you know, Versailles wasn't built by unionized labor either , so what, now we have to start ranting about how the evil French aristocracy exploited the working class?

So in conclusion, Rebasepoiss, I think that Designwise showed pretty normal attitude, while you seem to be stuck in the past, having pointless worries, failing to fully appreciate what you have now in the present.

Shit happens. Let's not spend our lives whining and pouring ash on our heads.

Last edited by raz; September 30th, 2007 at 04:28 PM.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #16
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You somewhat contradict yourself, because quite a few manor-houses were built during the Swedish reign in Latvia.

I don't know, I might have slave mentality (or maybe I have too much German blood running in my veins), but I don't think that Germans are the worst people to be conquered by. I know that the Swedish rule was the most benign of all the foreign regimes in Latvia, but still - in Europe before the Industrial Revolution you either had to fight and risk death, or give up and do your master's bidding.

I am in fact grateful to Germans (and all the other conquerors) for leaving these beautiful structures all over Latvia. Now the conquerors are gone, but the palaces still stand. As for the price we had to pay - you know, Versailles wasn't built by unionized labor either , so what, now we have to start ranting about how the evil French aristocracy exploited the working class?

So in conclusion, Rebasepoiss, I think that Designwise showed pretty normal attitude, while you seem to be stuck in the past, having pointless worries, failing to fully appreciate what you have now in the present.

Shit happens. Let's not spend our lives whining and pouring ash on our heads.
True, there were mansions built during the swedish time, but most of the "builders" were germans. German aristocrats had a very strong position in the society until the end of the 19th century. I'm not stuck in the past, but I find history quite fascinating and I just think that there is no reason why finns should be sorry not to have these mansions and villas in Finland, though one can't deny they're beautiful. As much as I know my ancestors were estonians so yeah, I probably have some slave mentality. 600 years just leaves some mark. And maybe that's the reason I value freedom so much.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #17
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Thanks, really valuable info - great work,

Below is the picture you failed to upload
42. Vecauce palace (1843). One of the best Neogothic palaces in Latvia - three years ago. Now it should look a lot better.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebasepoiss View Post
It would've been impossible to give a more "round" answer. Yeah, nobody would have left Estonia alone, but Swedes didn't force us to learn Swedish. Swedes built a University and created a network of elementary schools for local people. During Swedish time local people had a lot more rights than before. Germans didn't allow that....And when Russians came, we were back in the middle ages again so there is a difference between a conquerer and a conquerer.

Well true and Swedes have generally threated people whos been under their rule good, there might be exceptions but generally they have. Some people don┤t appriciate it as much nowdays though.
The german parts which once were swedish generally say that it was their golden years, and Wismar particullary celebrate it with their Sweden days.
And the way swedes threated Scania (skňne) when we took it from the danes was the main reason in the succes to turn that area into swedish. (Edit: well took it back really, but that fact seems to have gone lost in history.)
Its in fact the most succesful changing of minds ever done with a population and the fastest. And it was done because we threathed the farmers much better than danes had threathed their farmers, it was a long swedish tradition, aristocracy wasn┤t as strong as in denmark.
And Denmark did a fatal misstake when leaving Scania, they burnt down everything in their way back to mainland denmark.
Only a few years later the danes returned with a big army but the people had realised they were better of as swedes and didnt support the danes so the danes had to return to Denmark quite surprised and Scania was definitely Swedish. As you said we threated the Estonians good aswell, and we threated the Norwegians better than the danes had done too, during our Union, but nowdays most norwegians seem to have forgotten that they under danish rule lived under what is called "400 years of darkness" or "400 ňrs natta", mostly because in the late 1800s remaining danes in Oslo began to dream of Denmark, and a romantic picture of denmark spread.
Finland is another matther I┤ve heared, I don┤t know if it┤s true but some finnish people that i know acctually say thet they were much better of during their russian period than under their swedish rule, because they had more to say of mathers and finnns were getting better status whereas under the swedish rule the important position in their society was held by swedes.
But its of course better to be an idependent nation than under someones elses rule or in a union, that┤s the best thing nomather how good your threated!!!

Last edited by Boscorelli; September 30th, 2007 at 07:21 PM.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #19
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You have so many beautiful palaces in Latvia. Rundale palace, Jelgava palace and Vecauce palace looks very beautiful and Impressive
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Old September 30th, 2007, 11:53 PM   #20
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Hello! Will try to post Kurzeme manor houses before I'm leaving to Portugal...

Hope - will find time for answers one week later


So - Kurzeme is quite rich with diverse manor houses, although there are no really big ones.

45. Kazdanga palace, "clean" classicism from 1800.


46. Rudbarzi (1835), school.


47. Zemite (1850), much lost in 1905 when it was burned down. Now - school.


48. Tasi-Padure, early 19th century. Now school


49. Zante, simple but elegant


50. Kukšas (1725), renovated and with rich ornamentation, hotel


51. Liguti, early 19th century. It stood abandoned for some 15 years - and now renovation is on-going. New owner has removed everything what was added in Soviet time. Lots of palaces are brought back from ruins now - Seja, Kirbizi, Tasi, Liepaja Karosta palace etc.


52. Remte (1800). They got beautiful park with lots of interesting things.


53. Villa Hochheim in Talsi - now city museum


54. Valdgale manor complex consists of whole village in late Barocco style. It was collapsing some years ago - but now somebody is doing his best to bring it back to life.


55. Vandzene palace - now school.


56. Zentene - als school


57. Slokenbeka late medieval complex - very exciting place near Tukums.


58. Nogale palace - now private villa. Enormous park around with several larger natural lakes


59. Nurmuiza medieval palace near Talsi. Was abandoned for long time, now some life is there.


60. Jaunmokas - countryside villa of Riga mayor, 1901.


61. Durbe palace in Tukums - now fully renovated and very interesting place to visit.


62. Dursupe palace, 1820.


Ufff. That's it. Although today got two more - will add them some other time.
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