Alsunga Castle will be open to tourists next year

One of Latvia's best-preserved castles will be open to tourists next year as restoration work gets underway.

Alsunga Castle in the western Kurzeme region is a spectacular sight to anyone passing through the small town of the same name, but at the moment it is off-limits to tourists.

However, from next year it will be open to "restoration tourists" interested in seeing the preservation and restoration work in progress, reports Latvian Radio.

At present, works are being carried out in the southern part of the castle. Restoration of first and second floor ceiling beams and replacement of damaged tiles has already begun, along with replacement of guttering and drainage systems and renovation of an ancient chimney.

Several interesting finds have already been made including remains of ancient shoes, nails and even a bottle of alcohol.

Alsunga Castle is a state-owned architectural monument and is included in UNESCO's World Heritage List.

The Kurzemnieks newspaper previously announced that about 285,000 euros had been allocated to the reconstruction project to protect the building from further decline and make it accessible to visitors in a safe manner.

Alsunga is an interesting place in other respects too, being the home town of the unique Suiti culture, which you can learn more about at this dedicated website. Suiti culture is included on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

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