Outstanding personalities


One of most outstanding among writers, poets, and dramatists of Latvia, also politician.  Jānis Pliekšāns by real name, he was born on September 11, 1865 in Varslavāni homestead of Dunava parish, passed away on September 12, 1929 in Majori.

Rainis’ childhood passed in semi-manor estates of Tadenava (1865.-1869.), Randene (1869.-1872.), Berkenele (1872.-1881.), Vasilova (1881.-1883.), and Jasmuiža (1883.-1891.). Aged eight to nine, as a boarding student, Rainis studied with parson Oskars Svensons from Vilkumiests, nicknamed Egypt, and from August 1875 till December 1879 – in Grīva German School (nowadays – J. Rainis Daugavpils Secondary school No.6. His childhood observations and memories are collected in his autobiographical epic ‘Years of Sun’ (Saules gadi, 1925).

There are three of these estates located in Daugavpils district – Berķenele semi-manor is still preserved, and there one can visit expositon “Rainis House in Berkenele”. Randene semi-manor was destroyed during World War II. Now at the place of the former house you can see the memorial sign telling that J. Rainis lived in Randene. Sculptor I. Dobichin is the author of the memorial sign. the author of the memorial sign. The memorial sign is set also in Vasilova, on the left side of the highway Daugavpils-Rezekne, at the place where Vasilova semi-manor was located.
His childhood observations and memories are collected in his autobiographical epic “Years of Sun”(Saules gadi, 1925).

Rainis attending gymnasium (1880)

Rainis House in Berkenele

The Memorial Place of the Former House of Rainis Parents in Randene

The memorial stone at the place of the former Rainis parent’s house in Vasilova


Brothers Skrinda (bruoli Skryndys) – the well-known members of the Latgale awakening movement (“Atmoda”) Benedict Skrinda (1869-1947), Kazimirs Skrinda (1875-1919), and Antons Skrinda (1881-1918), born in Līksna Parish village Liepas Mukāni (now Vaboles  parish) in family of landowners Donats and Apolony Skrinda. In order to provide an insight into Latgale’s cultural history through the contribution of brothers Skrinda in education of people, highlighting the importance of the Latgalian language and Catholicism in the cultural life of Latgale, the Skrinda family museum was created. The museum is located in  Vabole, Daugavpils District, it was opened on June 16, 1996. Museum is situated in one of the buildings of Count Plater-Zyberk manor built in the beginning of the 19th century.


Skrinda family museum, Vabole

Benedikts Skrinda (Benedikts Skrynda) – Catholic priest and writer. Prior of the Vilani Monastery (1924-1947). After the death of their parents, he was obliged to lead the farm, and only at the age of 31 years – from 1899 started studies at the Mogilev Catholic Seminary, consecrated in 1903 as a priest. He worked as a vicar in Russia, a deacon in various churches in Latvia. In 1913, he published a book of spiritual character “Svātam Stanislavam Kostkam”. He headed the Vilani Monastery from 1924 until December 1947, when the monastery was closed down by the USSR authorities, and ordered all the monks to release the premises. During the process of moving out things, one of the militiamans took father Benedict behind his neck and heavily choked. Benedict Scrinda died a few days after this incident, December 10, 1947, buried in the garden of church of Vilani.

Kazimirs Skrinda (Kazimirs Skrynda) – Catholic priest, Master of Theology, educator and publicist. Professor and Inspector of the St. Petersburg Catholic Seminary (1904-1910). Editor of the newspapers “Ticeiba un Dzeive” (1908), “Drywa” (1908-1917) un “Jauno Drywa” (1918) redaktors.

Antons Skrinda (Ontons Skrynda) – Latvian military doctor and writer. Composer of poetry collection “Kūkle” (1914).

Benedikts Skrinda (1869-1947)

Kazimirs Skrinda (1875-1919)

Antons Skrinda (1881-1918)