Latvia is a country with many unique attractions. There are many castles and manor houses in Latvia constructed throughout the centuries and is a significant part of the country’s history and architecture. Many of these castles serve as historical landmarks and each of them are unique in their style, architecture and cultural history. Many of this castles and palaces are open to public tour and offer various activities. Most of these castles were built during the Middle Ages and while many of them have dilapidated over time, a few of them still stand and are open for tourists. Many of these castles houses museums which speaks of their historic heritage and the life of the people during those times. Latvia has some of the prettiest castles and palaces that serve as a good focal points of tourism. Visiting these castles you can breathe in the history of the palaces of the Middle Ages.
10 Best Castles in Latvia
Latvia is home to many medieval castles. Some of these date back to the era of the Baltic Crusade while many lavish palaces belong to the nobility after the period of the Baltic crusades. Castles and manors have been built in Latvia throughout its history and here we have compiled a list of 10 such beautiful castles in Latvia that you will love to visit. Take a look at our list.
1. Rundale Castle
Rundale castle in Latvia is one among the two major baroque castles, which was built for the Duke of Courland. Located in the southern part of Latvia, in the midst of the beautiful Zemgale Plains, this castle showcases the magnificent Baroque and Rococo architecture. The palace is astounding in its architecture and was built during the late 18th century, with its interiors decorated by a sculptor from Berlin and Italian painters. The rooms including the White Hall, the Gilt Hall and the Great Gallery in the eastern wing are open to the public. The Rundale castle also houses a museum, which showcases Latvian history through exhibitions. In the exhibition hall you can also see many fine and applied art and historical expositions displayed for the visitors. This beautiful palace also hosts many music festivals and classical music recitals.
Location: Pilsrundale, Rundales Pagasts, Latvia
Timings: May – Oct 10 am to 7:30 pm, Nov – Apr 10 am to 6:30 pm
Entry Fee: 100 – 800 euros
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2. Sigulda Castle
The Gauja Valley in Latvia is home to many stone castles. This part in Latvia has the most concentration of castles. Sigulda Castle is one such castle, which was built during the 13th century by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. The castle was initially built to keep a check on the waterways of the Gauja Valley and later during the early thirteenth century it was converted into a convent home by the Pope’s legate, Wilhelm of Modena. A church was constructed in the castle and a parish was established in Sigulda Castle.
Location: Pils 18, Sigulda, Latvia
Timings: 9 am – 8 pm
Entry Fee: 200 euros
3. Turaida Castle
The Turaida Castle is a part of the Turaida Museum Reserve. This castle was built during 1214 for the Albert of Riga. Earlier there used to be a wooden castle where the Liv Leader of Turaida used to reside. The wooden castle was deconstructed to build the stone castle of Turaida. This castles one of the oldest castle in Latvia and is located among a very scenic natural landscape. There are two ravines on either side of the castle and the castle itself sits atop an 80 meter high cliff. If you climb the 27 meter high tower of the castle, you will be in for quite a marvelous view of the Gauja valley.
Location: Turaidas Iela 10, Sigulda, Latvia.
Timings: May – September 9 am to 8 pm, Oct - 9 am to 7 pm, Nov – Mar 10 am to 5 pm, Apr – 10 am to 7 pm.
Entry Fee: 5.00 euros
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4. Cesis Castle
The beautiful romantic architecture of the Cesis Castle attracts a lot of people from and around Latvia. The castle was built some 800 years ago, during the 13th century and the town of Cesis budded around this castle soon after. The castle has a high tower which you can climb up to get an exquisite view of the Cesis Old Town. The dungeons with the castle prison are also open for public introspection. The Cesis Castle also hosts many theatrical shows and performances that you can indulge in with your family and enjoy a nice time.
Location: Pils Laukums 9, Cesis, Latvia
Timings: May – Sept 10 am to 6 pm, Oct – Apr 10 am to 5 pm
Entry Fee: 6.00 euros
5. Bauska Castle
The beautiful Bauska Castle is located amidst a very picturesque landscape. The castle stands on a spit of land where two rivers, Musa and Melemele converge into Lielupe. There are two sections in this castle. One is the old castle of the Livonian Order built during the 15th century and a newer part built during the 16th century, which served is the residence of the Dukes of Courland. Inside the castle, you can see the defense systems including many cannons and clothes and ornaments belonging to the Duchy of Courland from 16th and 17th century.
Location: Bauskas Pils Muzejs, Bauska Pilseta, Latvia.
Timings: May – Sept 9 am to 7 pm, Oct – 9 am to 6 pm, Nov – Apr 11 am to 5 pm
Entry Fee: 4.00 euros
6. Ludza Castle
Ludza Castle is a three storey stone fortress, consisting of 6 towers and 2 foreburgs. The castle was constructed in the 14th century by the German crusaders and it served as a stronghold to protect the east side borders of the Livonian lands. The castle is constructed of red bricks and gray firestones with decorations of black glazed bricks. When touring around the castles, you can hear your guides narrating tales of this stronghold and a beautiful princess. The castle grounds offers nice panoramic view of the town and it has also become a location for the Great Latgalian Market, which is held annually here.
Location: Baznicas Iela, Ludza, Latvia
Entry Fee: Free
7. Riga Castle
Riga Castle is situated in Old Riga City by the bank of the Daugava River. This is one of the biggest medieval castle in Latvia and has a long and exciting history. Riga castle serves as the official residence of the President of Latvia. The castle has undergone many restorations over time and gained more and more new architectural features with every reconstruction. Inside the castle, you will many rooms in Art Deco style architecture while the bay tower is of Baroque style. This beautiful castle is also considered as a national architectural monument.
Location: Pils Laukums 3, Riga, Latvia.
8. Mezotne Palace
Mezotne Palace sands as the best example of classism architecture in Latvia. The palaces surroundings and landscape are all very carefully planned and is one of the scenic landscapes in Latvia. The castle was constructed in the 17th century and gives of a nice Italian architectural vibe.
Location: Mezotne Parish, Bauska, Latvia
9. Jelgava Palace
The Jelgava Palace is situated in a small island between the Lielupe and Driksa River. The Place once used to be the seat of the Duke of Courland and Zemgale and in the present day it houses the Latvian University of Agriculture. The palace was designed by Rastrelli, a Russian court architect and is one of the best historical monuments in Jelgava region.
Location: Jelgava, Latvia
10. Cesvaine Palace
Cesvaine Palace is another rare historical monuments of Latvia. The palace was built during the period of 1890 to 1897 and is an outstanding example of eclecticism combined with Gothic, Art Nouveau and Romanesque styles. The Cesvaine Castle Park is home to about 70 different species of trees and shrubs and the landscape is truly picturesque.
Location: Pils Iela 1, Cesvaine, Latvia
Timings: May – Oct 10 am – 6 pm, Nov – Apr 10 am to 4 pm.
Entry Fee: 2.00 euros
These are some of the beautiful ancient castles of Latvia, which speaks of the cultural, history and architectural background of the country. Visit these castles on your trip to Latvia and absorb the historic heritage of the country while in Europe.
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