Daugavpils, located in the Latgale region of Latvia, is founded in 1275. It originates from the Dinaburg fortress, built by the Livonian Order. Subsequently, the city belonged to the Poles, Russians, Lithuanians. Such an interweaving of cultures added a peculiar charm to Daugavpils. He managed to preserve a number of cultural and historical monuments. The most significant are the Daugavpils Fortress and the only place in Europe - Church Hill, where ancient temples of 4 confessions coexist.
The pride of Daugavpils is the shot factory with the oldest in Europe and still operating shot tower. Many historical buildings and monuments are located along the 200-year-old Rigas pedestrian street. Interesting archaeological sites have been preserved in the natural park on the banks of the Daugava River.
What to see and where to go in Daugavpils?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
The only defensive complex in Northern Europe, built at the beginning of the 19th century and survived to this day almost unchanged. Construction began in 1810, the project was developed by the best architects of Russia. It occupies an area of 150 hectares, consists of 8 bastions, 6 counter-guards and ravelins, a moat, a rampart, residential buildings and a front square. The largest colony of bats in the country lives within the walls of the fortress; a specially created Center is dedicated to them.
Mark Rothko Art Center
It is located on the territory of the Daugavpils fortress, in the premises of the Arsenal. Here are the original paintings by M. Rothko, the founder of the innovative trend of abstract expressionism. He is considered one of the most expensive and sought after contemporary artists. A separate exposition tells about the life and creative path of the master. Periodically, the art center demonstrates the works of other artists, made in different techniques, as well as exhibitions of cultural and historical content.
House of Unity
A grandiose multifunctional building on one of the central streets was erected in 1936-37. At that time it was the largest building in the Baltics. Its external appearance is distinguished by rigor and simplicity, and its internal content is striking in variety. It houses a number of city institutions - a theater, a library, a bank, a tourist information center, a bookstore, a restaurant, a Latvian cultural center. Previously housed a swimming pool, printing house, hotel and department store.
Boris and Gleb Cathedral
The main Orthodox church in the city is the largest and most beautiful in Latvia. It was erected at the beginning of the last century on the site of the old garrison church. Made in neo-Russian style. Can accommodate up to 5 thousand parishioners. Height - 56 meters. There is a bell tower with 4 bells. The temple is crowned with 10 tower gilded domes. The interior space is decorated with a three-tiered iconostasis made of polished oak. His icons are copies of V. Vasnetsov's works kept in the Kiev Vladimir Cathedral.
Martin Luther Church
Red-brick neo-Gothic building. It has an asymmetric layout, the height of the only side tower is 52 meters. The current Evangelical Lutheran Church. It was erected in 1893. During its more than a century of history, it has repeatedly been subjected to significant destruction, robberies and fires. In Soviet times, it was used as a granary, warehouse, boxing school. Only in the 90s was it finally restored and transferred to the Lutheran community of Daugavpils.
Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
The snow-white temple was founded in 1902, after 3 years it was consecrated. Made in the Latgalian Baroque style. The facade is decorated with two high towers with crosses and a sculpture of Our Lady. In the 80s, one of the towers was damaged by strong winds and was later restored. The church is famous for its ancient organ, which was created by the Polish master A. Homan and installed in 1908. In 1984 the instrument was restored. It is listed as a national monument.
Church of St. Peter in chains
The oldest Catholic church in the city, which is still active today. Located in the central part of the city. Built in 1845-48. It originally had a square tower. In the 20-30s of the last century, the building was rebuilt, the facade was equipped with a colonnade and a large dome was built. The church began to resemble partly the cathedral of the same name in the Vatican. In the 1970s, the building was under threat of demolition. The Pope himself helped to defend it, to whom the believers of Daugavpils sent a letter.
Chapel of Alexander Nevsky
This is a small memorial building in A. Pumpura Square. It was erected on the site of the main Orthodox Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky, founded in 1864. In the 60s of the last century, it was closed and subsequently blown up. The chapel has a symbolic purpose - to remind of the destroyed temple. It was consecrated in 2003. It has a belfry with a bell weighing 325 kg. Inside the chapel is a small altar with a throne. Worship services are often held here.
Regional and Art Museum
One of the largest and oldest institutions dedicated to the history of the Latgale region. The date of foundation of the museum is 1938. Its funds include about 90 thousand exhibits dedicated to the nature of the region, ethnography, archeology, archival documents, bonistics, culture and art. There is an art hall of the famous local painter L. Baulin. The museum building, made in Art Nouveau, was erected in 1883 and declared an architectural monument.
Shmakovka is called the ancient Latgalian strong drink or simply moonshine. The original modern museum opened in 2016 in one of the premises of the House of Unity. Its expositions, including virtual ones, introduce the rich history and traditions of moonshining in Latgale, the types of raw materials, the production process and the influence of the drink on health. The museum hosts master classes on making shmakovka and tasting several of its varieties.
Museum of military equipment
In the Baltic countries, this is the only large collection of armored vehicles. The museum is located in the village of Svente, in a hangar on the territory of the private estate Jaunsventes. Self-propelled artillery mounts, the famous T-34, IS-2 and IS-3 tanks, German armored personnel carriers and self-propelled guns, Gaz and Willis off-road vehicles, howitzers and guns of Polish and Soviet production, modern armored personnel carriers are located here. All equipment has been restored and is in excellent condition, most of the cars are running.
One of the oldest ammunition factories in Europe. It was founded in 1884 and continues to function today. It produces cartridges, shot, buckshot, various types of bullets, lead seals, fish hooks, etc. A museum has been created at the plant. During the tour, you can see the equipment of the 19th century and modern structures, a shot foundry, a unique tower for casting lead 37 m high. The products of the plant can be tested in a shooting range.
It began with a small zoological circle, created in 1987 in the basement of the Pedagogical Institute. Today it is a small island of real jungle near the city center, where exotic animals and fish live. Among them are crocodiles, snakes, turtles, piranhas, iguanas, surricates, possums, guinea pigs, monkeys. The zoo plans to create a walking trail with observation towers around a nearby swamp where a colony of seagulls nests.
It was founded at the end of the 19th century by the mayor Pavel Dubrovin. For his personal funds, he bought a swampy area in the center of Daugavpils, drained it, planted it with trees and presented it to the townspeople. As a sign of respect, a monument to the great figure was erected in the park. Among other notable objects of the green oasis are a fountain with color illumination, a pond, and a war memorial. The park is quiet, well-groomed, there are many benches for rest, lanterns, flower arrangements.
Nature Park "Daugavas Loki"
. It is famous for the largest cliff in Latvia - Verversky, which is 42 meters high and 400 meters wide. There are many streams in the park. The local flora is represented by 700 species of vegetation. One third of the area is covered with forests. Among the valuable archaeological sites are the Rozalishki castle, Sikelsky, Yuzefovsky parishes, Vetsrachinskoe and Markovo settlements and others.