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Culture and history

Daugavpils Fortress

Daugavpils fortress is a unique cultural and historical architectural monument of national importance. Daugavpils fortress is also considered as the last bastion-type fortress in the world that has been preserved without any significant alterations since the early 19th century.

Daugavpils Fortress Culture and Information Centre (Water Tower)

Daugavpils Fortress Culture and Information Centre is established in the building of a former water tower the foundations of which were laid in 1865. Previosly the building was a component part of the fortress water – supply system and also provided water to the fountain in the fortress boulevard.

Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre

Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre is a multifunctional complex of contemporary art, culture and education situated in the Arsenal building at Daugavpils Fortress. It is the only place in Eastern Europe where the original masterpieces of the famous painter and the founder of the abstract expressionism Mark Rothko can be seen.

Church Hill

Each traveler who wants to get acquainted with Daugavpils should definitely visit the Church Hill that has gathered the churches of four different confessions. Martin Luther Cathedral designed by V. Neimanis was built in 1893. Roman Catholic Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in 1905, and later in 1909 it acquired an organ created by A. Homan from Poland. SS Boris and Gleb Russian Orthodox Cathedral was built in 1905 as a garrison church. Church of the Community of Old Believers was built in 1908–1928.

St. Boriss & Gleb Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Daugavpils

St.Boris and Gleb Orthodox Cathedral was built in 1904-1905 and was consecrated on 12 June 1905. t.Boris and Gleb Cathedral in the sense of the use of numerous decorative elements is recognized as the most gorgeous orthodox cathedral of this region. Its building is justly considered as one of the most spacious, richly decorated and arranged orthodox cathedrals not only in Latgale, but also in whole Latvia.

Martin Luther Cathedral

Martin Luther Cathedral designed by V. Neimanis was built in 1893. The church was made in Neogothic style. It has an asymmetrical planning and one tower. The building was constructed of red bricks.

Daugavpils Roman Catholic Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Daugavpils Roman Catholic Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in 1905. The church facade with two towers together with the ordently towers is made in the Neobaroque forms, and the Historicist interiors are augmented by a copy of Bartolome Estebam Murillo’s “Immaculate Conception”.

Shmakovka museum

The largest Shmakovka Museum in Latvia. The museum invite to cognitive story about the oldest Latgalian alcoholic beverage – shmakovka that is the culinary heritage of region. 

Daugavpils Lead Shot Factory

Daugavpils Lead Shot Factory is the only one available for tourists ammunition plant in the Baltic States, where is the oldest shot tower in Europe, that still works.

Daugavpils Theatre

The Daugavpils Theatre is one of the oldest professional theatres in Latvia. It is the only professional theatre in Latgale.

Daugavpils Synagogue

Daugavpils synagogue Kadish built in 1850 is located at 38 Cietoksna Street. The Jewish of Daugavpils and Latgale museum  is located on the 2nd floor of the synagogue.

Jewish of Daugavpils and Latgale Museum

Jewish of Daugavpils and Latgale Museum is located on the 2nd floor of the Daugavpils synagogue. The museum exposition tells about Jewish life and living traditions in Latgale and Daugavpils since 1935. The exposition represents the change in the number of Jews, sibling’s stories in photos, household and religious items as well as a variety of publications: magazines, calendars and books about Jews life in Daugavpils and Latgale.

The Historical Center of Daugavpils City

The historical centre of Daugavpils city is an architectural heritage of national importance (the construction work was carried out in the 19th century according to the project endorsed in St Petersburg in 1826). The historical centre is the greatest attraction of the city and one of the most successful examples of balancing the aspects of ancient and modern times.

Daugavpils Regional Studies and Art Museum

Daugavpils Regional Studies and Art Museum is one of the oldest museums in Latgale, founded in 1938. Located at 8 Rigas Street, in a magnificent building constructed in 1883.

Rīgas Street – Walking Street

About half a kilometer long Rīgas Street is the busiest street of the city leading from the Daugavpils railway station to the Daugava River, with a passage through the embankment to the former landing place.

Unity House

The dominating structure of the historical centre of the Daugavpils is the Unity House built during the years of the First Republic (22a Rīgas Street).

Latvian House

You can explore the handicrafts, rustic tools, household items of Daugavpils district of 19 and early 20 centuries, look at weaving and spinning, as well as look at an apartment of Daugavpils resident of the prosperous middle class of the 20 century.

The Centre of Russian Culture (Russian House)

The Centre of Russian Culture offers unique expositions: Old Believers in Latvia, The Orthodox in Latvia, Pictures by Pyotr Khudobchenok, Gzhel Ceramics, Khokhloma Ware, Dinaburg Fortress in the War 1812.

Polish Culture Centre in Daugavpils

Polish Culture Centre in Daugavpils popularizes Polish language, the culture, the history and national heritage. The Centre organizes exhibitions, concerts, festivals and other cultural events.

Daugavpils Palace of Culture

Concert hall of Daugavpils Palace of Culture is one of the biggest concert halls in Latvia with capacity to host events for 1070 persons. The Concert Hall has been awarded with compliance certificate from Association of European Mass Event centres in Baltic States, which proves that the concert hall is able to host the highest quality events.

Daugavpils Clay Art Centre

The centre offers the possibility to get acquainted with the cultural heritage of Latgale – ceramics and pottery traditions. This is the only place in Latvia where visitors can see and learn about the hardened Baltic raku ceramics which is being matured in fermented rye-flour liquid.

Memorial sign to the King of Poland Stephen Bathory

In 1582, King of Poland Stephen Bathory gave the Magdeburg law for Daugavpils (Dinaburg). Thus, it opened wider opportunities for the development of the city. The clock, gear wheel and clock hands, which are depicted on the monument, represent the history of Daugavpils (Dinaburg) before and after granting the Magdeburg law and historical titles of the city. The bas-relief of Stephen Batory, his sign facsimile and short explanation is also illustrated on the monument.

Dubrovin Park

The development of the park was actively supported by Pavel Dubrovin (1839–1890), who was the city mayor from 1876 to 1890. The park was named after its creator, and not far from the fountain there is a monument to Pavel Dubrovin.

Monument to Pavel Dubrovin

Monument for park creator and ex-mayor of Daugavpils Pavel Dubrovin (1839-1890) is erected in Dubrovin Park. The monument was made by sculptor from Moscow Alexandr Taratinov.

Andrejs Pumpurs Public Garden

In the square it is situated the bust of poet Andrejs Pumpurs, the Russian Orthodox Chapel of Alexander Nevsky, the monument to the innocent victims of the Communist terror.

Bust of Latvian Poet Andrejs Pumpurs

The poet A. Pumpurs (1841-1902) created epos “Lacplesis” (1888) about the legendary national hero Lacplesis (13th century), the fighter against foreign conquerors that is based on folk tales. The street and the square in the center of Daugavpils, where the bust of the poet is located, have the name of the poet.

Central Park

Central park in modern park with numerous flower beds and plants is a real jewel in the heart of the Daugavpils city.

Sundial

Sundial (1910) located in the Daugavpils University public garden.

The exhibition of “Terra Mariana” album’s facsimile

The exhibition takes place in the lobby on the 2nd floor of Daugavpils University (DU) building, Vienibas iela 13. The album itself is a property of Vatican Library, it was presented to the Pope Leo XIII in 1888 by the inhabitants of the Baltic region as a gift on the 50th anniversary of the Pope’s ordination.

“Bunker” Gallery

“Bunker” gallery is located in the basement of an apartment building in the authentic Soviet-era bunker with the heavy original metal door. There are more than 300 exhibits that belongs to different periods of history: the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, World War I and World War II, Latvia’s first independence period and Soviet time.

Forstate Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church

The church in the urban landscape is distinguished by its pointed tower made in the Gothic style and by light finishing of the facade. In addition, this project combines classical and modern, as the temple of God is located near the cultural and historic wooden building which is typical for Daugavpils.

Grīva Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Mary

Grīva Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Mary was built in 1881 – 1889 and altered in 1935 – 1942. Next to, it a bell tower was built in 1990 (arhitect: Kazimirs Lielausis). Grīva Church is a brick building with Romanesque and Gothic elements in the facade decoration. The most important interior features are the 3 stained glass windows with figural scenes, made at the St. Lucas Workshop in Warshaw in 1889. The pipe organ made at the Krustpils workshop of Friedrich Weissenborn in 1890. 

St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Church in Daugavpils

The church was consecrated in 1897. The church is a one-story wooden log building that is not covered with boards. The pointed towers with four-sided roof are located above the side entrances on the roofs. The part of the altar roof is decorated with a tower, which hexagonal volume supports the cupola with a cross in the form of an onion.

St. Nichola’s Russian Orthodox Church in Daugavpils

St. Nichola’s Russian Orthodox Church in Daugavpils was built in 1894 and is located near graves. It is built of red bricks; the decorative masonry bands are made in the corners of the building, above the footings and under the roof cornices.

Daugavpils St. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church

Daugavpils St. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church has two towers: a bell tower above the entrance and smaller tower at the east end. The icons date from 1833 up to the earl 20th century, one group of them brought from Moscow.

Dormition Orthodox church

Dormition Orthodox church was consecrated in 1877. In 1964 The Soviets closed it. Until 1991 there was a library in the church building. In 2007 the first divine service took place in the renovated church.

Old-believer’s Prayer House in Gajok

Old-believer’s Prayer House of The Annunciation of the Most Holy Mother of God and Nicholas the Wonderwoker in Gajok.  Old-believer’s Prayer House in Gajok was consecrated on March 30 in 1886. The church was one of the most beautiful religious buildings in Daugavpils. The hand of a professional is clearly seen in the architectural shapes of the church.

Old-believer’s Prayer House in Niderkuni

Old-believer’s Prayer House in Niderkuni was built in 1907, but in 1908 – 1911 work on the interior design was carried out. The parishioners presented icons and books to the new church. The icons painted by Konstantin Pavlov, Vasilij Kirillin, Barbara Kirillina and Leontij Seleznev have remained in the iconostasis till nowadays.

Protection Embankment

A unique 6-km long engineering structure along the bank of the Daugava River, which not only protects the city against floods, but also serves as a road.

Art Nouveau buildings

Art Nouveau buildings in Daugavpils located at 41 Saules Street, 55 Saules Street and built at the end of the 19th – the beginning of the 20th century.

Unity Square

Unity Square is the heart of the city where all the greatest events of the city take place. The Square unites the inhabitants of the city during the most significant events.

Daugavpils Railway Station

Daugavpils is a railway hub with 5 railway lines. The present building of the railway station was constructed in 1951.

Garden of Sculptures

The garden of Sculptures is decorated with the works of Latvian sculptors and magnificent carpets of flowers.

Latvian Museum of Athletics and Bodybuilding History

The museum exhibition is placed in Daugavpils, in Unity House, in the rooms of fitness center. The aim of the museum is to introduce the athletics history to the audience, famous Latvian athletes and their achievements, athletics and bodybuilding competition prizes and to collect materials about the past and present achievements of athletes and systematize the exhibits.

Chess and Checkers Museum

The enthusiasts of Daugavpils Chess and Checkers Museum have studied and compiled information about the history of chess in Daugavpils and Latgale Region from the 19th century up to the present day. All these information is available in Daugavpils Chess and Checkers Museum that is the first museum of its kind in Latvia.

The Stropi Stage

The stage in Stropi is the cultural-historical complex, situated in a scenic place with interesting relief and is the place for carrying out big folklore events, song festivals and performances.

The open-air art work “GHOST OF THE FORTRESS”

The open-air art work “GHOST OF THE FORTRESS” was created in 2017 during the Second International Sculpture Symposium. The main inspiration for the work came from the Daugavpils fortress. For Daugavpils fortress it is ghost of a war horse, because as a war horse, fortifying structures like the one in Daugavpils was once a crucial military instrument that became obsolete as the progress rolled on.

The open-air art work “ROTHKO”

The open-air art work “ROTHKO” was created in 2015 during the First International Sculpture Symposium „R”. The art work ROTHKO is an identity mark of the artist in environment demonstrating belonging of the artist to Daugavpils city.  In inscription there is a name of world known Latvian and American artist who was born in Daugavpils – Mark Rothko.

Environment object “Tribute to Rothko”

On 25 September 2016, which was the 113th Mark Rothko’ birthday, near to Mark Rothko Art Centre was opened an environment object “Tribute to Rothko” made by the French artist Patrick Peltier.

Dedication to Rothko Memorial Monument

Dedication to Rothko memorial monument that was created by the artist Romuald Gibovsky, was erected on the picturesque bank of the River Daugava – the source of the brightest impressions of the artist’s childhood.

Memorial to Commemorate Victims of the Genocide against Jews and of Daugavpils Ghetto

The Memorial to commemorate the victims of genocide against Jews and prisoners of the Daugavpils ghetto was opened on 10 November 1991, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust (author of the memorial – sculptor Oleg Marinoha). The memorial consists of a granite stele with the Star of David cut into it and an inscription on Yiddish “To the Memory of the Children of Israel”, with 16 stone steles placed on both sides of it, symbolically reminding of the memory of the Holocaust victims from various European states.

The memorial stone “In memory of Daugavpils ghetto prisoners”

On 6 September 2015 in the place of former Daugavpils ghetto, next to Daugavgrīva Prison the Jewish community of Daugavpils unveiled a monument with an inscription in English, Latvian, Russian and Hebrew: “In memory of ghetto prisoners. From July 15, 1941 to May 1, 1942 Daugavpils Jewish ghetto was located here.”

Memorial to the Victims of Nazism

From July 1941 to the end of 1943 in the Mežciems (historical name – Poguļanka) Forest Jews, taken from Daugavpils ghetto at various times, were shot here. The exact number of victims is unknown. In 1960 a memorial (sculptor Harijs Sprincis, architect Zigurds Ābelīte) to the victims of Nazism was unveiled in the Mežciems Forest; however, the most part of the monument was destroyed in the 1990s. On 9 July 1989 Jewish activists from Daugavpils reinterred the remains that had been found at the end of the 1980s in Mežciems in separate pits. In 2007 the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia placed on the site two black granite plaques with an inscription in Latvian, Russian, English and Hebrew: “The remains of prisoners of the Daugavpils ghetto are buried here”.

Monument to the Victims of Action of 8–9 November 1941

In total approximately 15 000 to 20 000 Jews were placed in the Daugavpils ghetto, of which less than 100 persons survived. On 8 – 9 November 1941, as the result of regular selection in the ghetto, 1134 Jews, children among them, were sent to Mežciems and shot. In 1967, on the site of mass murder, close to the Mežciems Station a memorial obelisk was erected. In 1974 a memorial stone was placed, its inscription in Russian sates: “In this place on 8–9.11 1941 German fascists shot 2000 civilians – children and adults”.

Holocaust Memorial Place in Railwaymen’s Garden

The Nazi troops entered Daugavpils on 6 June 1941 and already on the first days of occupation launched the campaign to exterminate the Jews of Daugavpils. Until 7 July 1125 Jews were arrested and taken to the prison, they later were shot in the Railwaymen’s Garden. During the Soviet period a granite stele on a concrete base was erected here, it bears the inscription “Here the fighters, commanders of the Soviet Army, tortured to death by German–fascist invaders in 1941–1945 are buried. Eternal glory to those who perished.” In 2007 the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia placed a memorial sign – two black granite plaques with the Stars of David and an inscription in Latvian, Russian, English and Yiddish: “In July 1941, the Nazis executed here more than 1,000 of Daugavpils Jews”.

Holocaust Memorial Place in the Daugavpils Communal Cemetery

A part of Daugavpils ghetto prisoners, who were shot in the Mežciems Forest, have been reinterred in the Daugavpils Communal Cemetery, their remains were found in the 1950s. During the first post–war years the reinterment site was in the Old Jewish Cemetery, but in the 1970s, when the Cemetery was liquidated, the monument was moved to the Communal Cemetery. There is an inscription in Russian and Yiddish on the monument: “Here Jewish families rest, shot by Hitler’s executioners in 1941–1945”.

Memorial Stone at the Place of the Old Jewish Cemetery

The memorial stone by artist Juris Pundurs was erected on September 12, 2013, in Aizpilsetas park close to the Gubisces lake (behind Daugavpils 15th Secondary School), in the place where once was the old Jewish cemetery.

Memorial place of graves of soldiers of Polish army of the 1st Legion Regiment

Graves of the soldiers of the 1st Legion Regiment of Polish army in Slobudka, near Satiksmes street were the biggest ones in Latvia of Polish soldiers, who fell in Latvian fight for freedom in 1919 -1920, a cemetery, where 500 soldiers were buried. On June 22 in 1928 Latvian President Gustav Zemgals opened a monument at this cemetery. In 1955 the city authorities decided to erect a sand and shingle career at the territory of the cemetery. The sand and gravel together with human bones were used in Daugavpils-Lithuanian border road construction through Demene. When Latvian regained its independence in 1992, a monument – 13 m high cross – was opened at the place of the destroyed graves. The cross is made of iron concrete according to artist Romuald Gibovskis and architect Vanda Baulina project.

Memorable place of Count Leon Plater at Daugavpils Catholic cemetery

The memorial place of Leon Plater is set at Daugavpils Catholic cemetery. The black granite plate, which is decorated with the inscription: “To count Leon Broel Plater – the organizer of Polish uprising (killed on June 9 in 1863)” is erected there. Originally, the plate was erected on June 9 in 1923, but renewed in 2002.

A Memorial Plaque to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook

The Memorial Plaque to Rabbi Abraham Isaac  Kook (1865 – 1935) was opened on March 7, 2013 on the wall of the Daugavpils Synagogue. Rabbi Abraham Isaac. He was the outstanding Jewish religious thinker and public figure, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of the land of Israel.

The bust of poet Rainis

Daugavpils is the poet Rainis’ first childhood city. On the front square of Daugavpils University there is the poet’s bust sculpture made by sculptor Indulis Folkmanis (1966).

The memorial plaque of Andrejs Shvirksts

Andrejs Shvirksts (1897 – 1955) was  Local government officer (since 1928 till 1934 – the Chairman of the Daugavpils district, since 1934 till 1938 – the senior of the Daugavpils district, sine 1938 till 1940 – mayor of Daugavpils), Public figure (since 1938 till 1940 – Chairman of the Association of Latvians of Daugavpils).

Red Bricks Buildings in Daugavpils

Daugavpils is exceptionally rich in red brick buildings. The shape-forming techniques typical of eclecticism that were applied in the facades of these buildings even many decades later make one appreciate and admire the striking accuracy of detail.

Family House of the Actor Solomon Mikhoels

There is house number 4 on Mihoelsa Street at Daugavpils, where the great actor Solomon Mikhoels was born in 1890. This outstanding person is rightly considered the legend of the 20th century theatre.

St. Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Chapel

St. Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Chapel was consecrated in 2004. Located in A. Pumpurs public garden (20 Saules Street) on the former site of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (1864–1961). The chapel is a memorial structure that has a symbolic meaning, serving as a reminder of the demolished cathedral.

St.Nichola’s Russian Orthodox Church in Daugavpils

It was built in 1894 and is located near graves. It is built of red bricks; the decorative masonry bands are made in the corners of the building, above the footings and under the roof cornices. A semi-circular-shaped sheet metal roof is constructed above the entrance door, where there is also a small round window with St. Nicholas painting in the center of it.

Museum of the First World War

A museum that is dedicated to the World War I time period. A collection of weapons, artillery shells, grenade and household items (e.g. bottles, glasses and other) are displayed. Old postcards and unique photos can also be found in the collection.

The Monument to the 10th Aizpute Infantry Regiment of Zemgale Division soldiers fallen in the Latvian War of Independence

On November 14, 1924, in the garden of the Daugavpils Fortress, a monument of remembrance to 44 soldiers of the 10th Aizpute Infantry Regiment of Zemgale Division, who died in the Latvian War of Independence, was unveiled. During the Soviet period the monument was destroyed. On 2017 the monument has been restored to its original state. With an official opening ceremony the restored monument was unveiled on November 14, 2017.

“White Horse” Art Gallery

“White Horse” – it is the first art gallery in Daugavpils that is also culture space at the same time: it is a gallery, an art salon, and an art studio.