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Trip Planner Europe  /  Latvia  /  Kurzeme Region  /  Ventspils

Ventspils

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Beaches · Castles · Specialty Museums
Ventspils is a town in northwestern Latvia in the historical Courland region of Latvia, and is the sixth largest city in the country. At the beginning of 2017, Ventspils had a population of 39,286. It is situated on the Venta River and the Baltic Sea, and has an ice-free port. The city's name literally means "castle on the Venta", referring to the Livonian Order's castle built alongside the Venta River. Ventspils holds the national record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Latvia with 37.8°C on 4 August 2014.Other namesVentspils was historically known as Windau in German. A Russian name from the time of the Russian Empire was Виндава or Виндау although Вентспилс, a transliteration of Ventspils has been used since World War II. Some other names for the city include and Windawa.HistoryVentspils developed around the Livonian Order Ventspils Castle, built along the Venta River. It was chartered in 1314 and became an important mercantile city of the Hanseatic League.As part of the Duchy of Courland, Ventspils blossomed as a shipbuilding centre. 44 warships and 79 trading ships were built in the town, and it was from Ventspils that the Duke's fleet set out to colonize Gambia and Tobago. Metal, amber, and wood-working shops also became important to the city's development.
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