Jaunpils Castle

Jaunpils Castle

 

Location: Zemgale region  Map

Constructed: 14th century

Tel. 6310 7082

Open 10am- 6pm Mon- Fri

Official site

 

Jaunpils Castle or SchloƟ Neuenburg in German is a medieval citadel in Zemgale region of Latvia It was constructed in 1311 by Master of the German branch of the Livonian Order, Gottfried von Roga. In the 15th century the order added a tower to improve the defences. Jaunpils Castle was intended to defend South border of Lithuania from the growing power of Moscow principality, but a threat came from the North. Swedish armies heavily damaged its military defences during Thirty Years' War. In the 17th century the castle lost its military significance and it was reconstructed as a manor house. It was badly damaged inn the Russian Revolution of 1905, but it was quickly fixed under supervision of architect Wilhelm Bockslaff. Today Jaunpils Castle is reconstructed and turned into a hotel.

 

History

Jaunpils Castle was first mentioned in written sources in 1411 and was probably built in the second half of the 14th century or even at the very beginning of the 15th century. There is no documentary justification for the year 1301, often mentioned in tourist booklets, as the year of construction of the castle - at that time the Livonian Order was at war with the city of Riga and it did not have the resources and time to build the castle.

In the 15th century, the castle fortifications were strengthened and a massive round tower was built in the southeast corner. At the beginning of the 16th century, Jaunpils became a place where old, disabled brothers of the Livonian Order were accommodated.

In 1576, the castle was taken over by Matthias von der Reke, the last commander of Dobele. His grandson Matthias Dietrich von der Reke (1608-1652) rebuilt the castle, as a result of which the fortification was transformed into the residence of the nobles, including the construction of the third floor. Reke Castle belonged to the beginning of the 20th century. They started breeding breeds here, and this occupation in Jaunpils was inherited by later powers until the end of the 20th century.

During the 1905 revolution, in 1906 the castle was burnt down, in 1907 it was restored according to the design of V. Bokslaf, creating simplified neo-baroque interiors. During the First World War, after the end of the Kurzeme offensive in the autumn of 1915, Jaunpils Castle was visited by the German Emperor Wilhelm II. From the 1920s to the 1960s, the castle housed livestock-related institutions. In the 1960s, the castle was rebuilt to suit the needs of the cultural center.

Since 1991, the castle has been the property of the municipality and is used for public purposes.

Description
Jaunpils Castle was covered on all sides by water barriers. Nowadays, the filled moat is no longer visible.

The castle was built of boulders, using bricks at the top of the walls. The castle forms an irregular quadrangle measuring 41 x 30 meters. A massive round tower with a diameter of 11.5 meters was built in the 15th century. In the Middle Ages, only the south-eastern and south-western buildings of the castle were built, on the other two sides the inner courtyard of the castle was covered by a protective wall.

An interesting art monument is the bas-relief "Madonna with Child" in one of the castle halls, most likely built in the 19th century. It is often believed that this bas-relief was created in the 16th century.