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Don't think that many have heard about such town as Jekabpils - but for Latvia it is rather large town.
So - Jekabpils. Located approximately on midway from Riga to Daugavpils. town is divided in to two approximately similar sized parts by the wide Daugava river. In fact - until recent times (1962.) these were two different towns - Jekabpils and Krustpils. Each town has got it's own style and history. This, of course, makes the place a lot more interesting.

As with most Latvian towns, here the history also is much longer than officially recognised - close to city borders there are two ancient hillforts. One of those hillforts - Kaupre - is located on island on Daugava river - most likely this has been fortified trading and resting settlement of some foreigners, who travelled from Northern Europe to Byzantium and back. The town has developed as a locally important trading post since these times and it seems - it's importance in this sense will rise in 21st century.

Krustpils was declared as settlement in 1511, as a town - in 1920. "Krusts" = "cross" (because located on crossroads), "pils" = "castle", here - "fortified setllement". Jekabpils has been founded in 1670 by the Duke of Courland Jekabs - this place got his name.

As any place in Latvia, also these two towns have been destroyed in wars for many times. Krustpils stated to flourish in 1861, when railroad was built. At the end of 19th century main business here was - making musical instruments - there were 4 factories with 2000 employees.

In Soviet times Jekabpils was developed as an industrial centre with several commieblock districts and many factories. Due to this suburbs of Jekabpils nowadays look very sad - numerous abandoned bad quality buildings. But the centre of both historical parts looks quite charming, there is happening active restoration of historical heritage.

Big hopes are for the large container terminal - Jekabpils is planned as the future hub where goods are shipped from East, here they are packaged, loaded in containers etc. and shipped further to the West, it is planned to service initially 200 000 TEU coming from Kazahstan and China (preliminary agreements with 18 factories there). As far as I saw, the project seems to be under implementation in the northern part of the town, where many hectares are cleared, levelled and different stages of construction works on-going. It will start working in this summer. There are several more factories under construction. But on this thread - only historical architecture.
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Map:

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1st part - Jekabpils. Southern bank of Daugava. To me this historical part (not the commieblock districts) seems to be more intimate than Krustpils.

1. Brivibas street

2. The same

3. Among 5 churches of Jekabpils (Krustpils has 4 more) the complex of Orthodox churches and monastery certainly is the most interesting. But I discovered this only when returned home. :( Had to investigate a bit more.

4. UNESCO World Heritage monument - Struve Geodetic Arc - system of geodetic support points streching across Eastern Europe. This is the first exact measuring of longer segment of Earth, done in 1855. One of support points is located exactly in Jekabpils. Town plans to turn the surrounding park into some kind of applied science park.

...ops - that's all about Jekabpils. Believe me - there is more to see and the place looks pleasant and diverse, with lots of historical buildings.

Part 2 - Krustpils
There is one bridge crossing Daugava in the town.

5. Just as you cross it, you see this building - it shows the former expectations that the town will grow and larger buildings will come on both sides of this one. Now even this one is abandoned. Please, notice also something else: there is specific style of architecture. Red bricks with some circular ornaments of brick. There are some 20 - 30 buildings in this style scattered around Krustpils.


6. Historical Krustpils is centred along the Riga Street. There are stories that this street has the highest density of small shops among Latvian towns. May be some 10 years ago, now the supermarkets have killed many.


7. ...but some shops and small enterprises are alive and kicking.


8. That same street


9. Red brick style again


10. This is a bit different, but nice too


11. We have reached the fabulous medieval Castle of Krustpils


12. Some 6 years ago this castle was almost totally wrecked, empty, in some places even without roof. Since then there has happened revival and now it is turning into beauty.


13. Construction of this castle started either in 1231 or 1237, afterwards it has been rebuilt and damaged numerous times. Nowadays subtle Barocco style from the reconstruction of early 18th century prevails.


14. Close nearby - Lutheran Church of Krustpils. Nice piece in Ampire style, early 19th century.


15. View at the church - Daugava.


16. Finally - Orthodox church in the northern part of Krustpils. Just across the road (behind us) there are the big crossroads and behind them - the construction site of the industry and logistics park.


That's it. Hope, you enjoyed it.
 

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Atkal paldies Gati! I know you have a lot of different and great ideas for posts, and I would like to suggest yet another just in case you run out of ideas at some time. How about a churches of LV photothread? There is such a diversity of styles, even within a particular denomination. Maybe there are just too many for one thread?
 

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Hey! Thank you very much for these photos. I remember, how you said, that the architecture of Jekabpils looks pretty Byzantine. Somehow I don't have this impression at all, but that's my impression. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Many thanks!!!

Got any more pictures of latvian castles, churches and other historical buildings?
Lots lots and lots. Thousands :)

How about a churches of LV photothread? There is such a diversity of styles, even within a particular denomination. Maybe there are just too many for one thread?
I've got pictures of some 200 Latvian churches. May be someday. Once earlier I made thread with 100 Latvian castles and palaces, may be it's tome for churches too.

I remember, how you said, that the architecture of Jekabpils looks pretty Byzantine. Somehow I don't have this impression at all, but that's my impression.
Really I have impression that they got lots of stylised Byzantine cupolas, including three Orthodox churches too. But - yes, this town has got it's own style.

:)
 

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very interesting and concise information about Jekabpils - many things that I didn't know, and great photos! When I was in Jekabpils first time it left cosy impression to me and I returned once more and want to go there again. That's one quite charming town.
 
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