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Jelgava is a city in central Latvia about 41km southwest of Riga with about 63,000 inhabitants. It is the largest town in the region of Zemgale (Semigalia). Jelgava was the capital of the united Duchy of Courland and Semigallia (1578-1795) and the administrative center of the Courland Governorate (1795-1918).Jelgava is situated on a fertile plain rising only 3.5m above mean sea level on the right bank of the river Lielupe. At high water the plain and sometimes the town as well can be flooded. It is a railway center and is also host to Jelgava Air Base. Its importance as a railway centre can be seen by the fact that it lies at the junction of over 6 railway lines connecting Riga to Lithuania, eastern and western Latvia, and Lithuania to the Baltic sea.NameUntil 1917, the city was officially referred to as Mitau. The name Jelgava is believed to be derived from the Livonian word jālgab, meaning "town on the river." The origin of the German name Mitau is unclear, although it is suggested that it came from the Latvian words mīt or mainīt, meaning "to exchange" or "to trade," thus making it "the place where trading takes place." An alternate explanation is that Mitau came from Mitte in der Aue, German for "the middle of the Aa", referring to the Lielupe River, formerly known as the Courland Aa (Kurländische Aa in German).Add Jelgava and other destinations in Latvia to your travel itinerary using our Latvia online travel route planner.
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Top tours near Jelgava
Private day trip to Rundale Palace, Hill of Crosses &more with Premium class van BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $142
Duration: 8 hours
Full-Day Private Trip to Latvia Palaces and Medieval Castle from Riga BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $221
Duration: 6 to 8 hours
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