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Jelgava Palace, Jelgava

#3 of 12 in Historic Sites in Zemgale Region
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.HistoryConstruction 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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54 reviews
  • Though the building was closed, which was a disappointment, we are fans of Rastrelli, the Italian Russian-born architect who designed numerous palaces in St Petersburg (most famously the Winter Palace...  more »
  • Magnificent palace, 42 km from Riga, built by Rastrelli on an island in Lielupe River. Rastrelli built the beautiful Rundale Palace in Latvia first, then this one and then the Winter Palace in St Pete...  more »
  • Jelgava 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. There is also Rundale Palace Museum exhibition in...  more »

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