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Rundale Palace (Rundāles pils)

Rundale Palace

 

 

Location: 12 km (7.5 mi) East of Bauska  Map

Tel. 6396 2197

Open: May, Sep- Oct: 10am- 6pm daily

June- Aug: 10am- 7pm daily

Nov- Apr: 10am- 5pm daily

www.rundale.net

 

Park Open:

May- Oct: 10am- 7pm daily

Nov- Apr: 10am- 5pm daily

 

 

 

Description of Rundale Palace

 

Rundale Palace is a magnificent Baroque residence situated 12 km (7.5 mi) East of Bauska in Latvia.  Rundale Palace was erected in two stages between 1736 and 1740 and from 1764 to 1768. It was designed by a famous Italian born royal architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. It was intended as a summer residence for Ernst Johann von Biron, Duke the Courland (region of Latvia), an important figure at the Royal Russian Palace who basically ran Russian government behind the scenes during reign of Russian Empress Anna Ioannovna. He lost much of his power in 1740 after a coup organized by the aristocrats. He moved here after his demise and devoted his remaining years in quiet rural life. In 1765- 68 sculptures of Berlin Johann Michael Graff were added. Frescoes were painted by Italian painters Francesco Martini and Carlo Zucchi  who were invited from Saint Petersburg. Large garden that covers over 10 hectares surrounds this impressive residence.

 

After death of Biron Catherine II the Great passed the palace to Count Valerian Zubov, the youngest brother of her last lover Prince Platon Zubov (aka Platonic Love of the Empress). Zubov died shortly thereafter and his widow Thekla Walentinowicz married a prominent noble family of Counts Shuvalov. This family lost possession of the residence during World War I. In 1920- 1933 Rundale Palace was open as a school. In 1933- 1941 it was in possession of a State History Museum of Latvia. Rundale was badly damaged during World War II actions. In 1972 a new reconstruction began turning the palace to its former glory as a Rundāle Palace Museum. Eastern Wing of Rundale Palace is partially opened to the tourist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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