Rundāle Palace looks forward to tourism season

Covid pandemic time has made a dent in the number of visitors to the Rundāle Palace and the countries where tourists come from, according to the observations of Laura Lūse, director of the Rundāle Palace Museum, Latvian Television reported on May 25.

Rundāle is a baroque palace, designed by Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli and built in the mid-1700s as the summer residence for the Duke of Courland in the plains of Zemgale. The Rundāle Palace is one of the best-known cultural tourism destinations of Latvia, with its museum covering architecture, art, history of culture, and gardening.

The museum director Laura Lūse told Latvian Television that the tourists from overseas were replaced by Europeans. A lot of tourists are from Lithuania.

"Watching the flow of visitors to Rundāle Palace, the Lithuanian voices are mostly heard. Occasionally, we hear Spanish speaking. Tourists from South Korea, Japan, and China in the Far East can also be observed," said the museum director.

The number of tourists from Germany is declining, as well as tourists from the United States. But in general, Lūse looks forward to this season of tourism with great expectations.

Rundāle Palace plans to attract visitors this season with a number of events, such as dates in the garden, a French tapestry exhibition, the Ancient Music Festival, and others.

On May 24, a new book on the palace came out, which, according to the authors, is unique on a European scale – it is a book describing Rundāle Palace furnaces. They have managed to find historical documents showing how the masters of Vienna and St. Petersburg worked to create blue-and-white tiles in a workshop in Vircava. The tiles are painted with people and landscapes, real and mythic beasts and birds. 

The book's author, Lauma Lancmane, said furnaces were usually standing quietly in the corner of the room while everyone admires paintings and furniture, but here each tile is like a work of art. Under Lancmane's leadership, te original furnaces were restored in Rundāle since they had been dismantled while a Soviet school was established in the palace.

The opening of the book was celebrated on May 24– the day that the cornerstone of the palace was once laid.


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