Jelgava Palace, Jelgava

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Castle · Tourist Spot
Jelgava Palace or Mitava Palace is the largest Baroque-style palace in the Baltic states. It was built in the 18th century based on the design of Bartolomeo Rastrelli as a residence for the Dukes of Courland in their capital - Mitava, Latvia. The Dukes of Courland also had a summer palace by Rastrelli nearby called Rundāle Palace.
Construction of the palace started in 1738 on an island between the Lielupe river and its branches. The site had borne the residence of the former Courland dukes of the Kettler dynasty and, before that, a medieval castle belonging to the Livonian Order.
Following Ernst Johann von Biron's fall from grace in 1740, all construction work was stopped, even though the roof of the palace had not yet been completed. Most of the building materials and interior elements were moved to St. Petersburg where Rastrelli used them in building of other palaces. Work resumed after Biron's return from exile in 1762. However due to financial difficulties duke moved into palace only in 1772 although interior decorations still was in progress in many rooms. Besides Rastrelli (who, with the death of his patroness, the Empress Elizabeth, lost business in Saint Petersburg), Danish architect Severin Jensen participated in the project, giving the palace a touch of classicism.
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  • On the post island there is an exhibition of sand sculptures. Very interesting and of course very beautiful. This is world exhibition. Every year you can see totally different things. The sculptures.....  more »
  • I would have assumed that the local authorities in Jelgava would want to make the old palace more of an attraction worth visiting, with a museum and things to do there, but apparently not. We walked.....  more »
  • We didn't go in the palace but the outside and the park is absolutely wonderful in summer time. Quiet and clean. 🙂
  • Castle in repairs, no inside to view anyway, university inside, viewing only outside, small museum with very interesting guide Juris worth the 2 EUR and the time. Best visited on the way to Rundale Castle for an hour.

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