Duke of Courland’s castle celebrates reopening

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The restoration of several interior rooms of the Bauska castle ruins has been completed, and on Friday the renewed space will celebrate its opening and stay open to the public all day Saturday free-of-charge.

The Bauska castle ruins are a unique monument among historic architectural objects in Latvia. It represents the military and residential fortress constructions of the 15th-17th centuries.

It is the only example of Rennaissance and Mannerism era architecture and decorative arts in the Duchy of Courland (1562-1795), and the only remaining part of the first Duke of Courland-Semigallia’s residence. Its oldest section holds the only fortress built for storing firearm munitions by the Livonian Order, whereas the newest wing contains a fortified residential palace.

Surrounding the castle are French-style embankment fortifications erected under the rule of Swedish King Karl XII, dating to the Great Northern War. The castle complex sits in the picturesque landscape featuring a confluence of three rivers.

As chief researcher Daiga Skane told Latvian Radio Friday, the castle built to house Gotthardt Ketler, the Duke of Courland, and his entourage will now feature exhibits created in accordance with the original functions of the rooms.

The restoration of the Bauska castle ruins began in 2011 with European Regional Development Fund (ERAF) support. Restoration specialists from the Czech Republic were invited to consult the process along with their Latvian counterparts.

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