Jaunpils castle severely damaged in last week's storm

After the storm last Monday and hail that came with it, the castle of Jaunpils has been closed, possibly for a long time, Ivonna Plaude, editor-in-chief of the newspaper 'Neatkarīgās Tukuma Ziņas' told Latvian Radio on August 14.

The Jaunpils castle is a cultural monument of national importance. It has been damaged greatly by the hailstones. This week the castle will be surveyed by an inspection board to assess the total damage.

The roof is in the most critical condition.

Plaude said: “The roof that had been holding for 116 years... It was clearly known for a year or two that the roof had to be replaced because the binding agent holding the tiles was beginning to fail. We knew it was fairly damaged – it was seen in the attic two years ago. [..] Then the storm shook the castle. All that binder that holds the tiles together has fallen. Those tiles, which have not been smashed, currently hold on metal water gutters and pure luck. The roof is completely destroyed.”

Plaude said that a couple of years ago the local government had been evaluating the replacement of the palace roof, which needed €5 million. The resources needed at the time were not available to the local government or to the Heritage Authority.

Consequently, the necessary means of restoring the castle are larger, as the windows, their frames, and their facade have also suffered.

“All the south windows are broken. These are 60 windows, and the roof in addition, [..] and plaster for the castle and all other damage,” Plaude said.

She said the castle would likely be closed to visitors for a long time.

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