Aizpute is an ancient city in Latvia, the administrative center of Aizpute region. It is located on the western edge of the hilly West Kurzeme highlands, on the banks of the Tabra, 50 km northeast of Liepaja. In 2020, 4,038 inhabitants lived in Aizpute. It is noteworthy that it has been the seat of the diocese of the diocese of Kurzeme, the capital of the autonomous region of Piltene, the city of the county.
The oldest forms of the Curonian place name were Asimputte, Acciputten, Asenputt (Curonian: Āspute - 'place behind the dune'), which in the German version became Hasenpoth.
The oldest coat of arms of Aizpute comes from a 14th century seal depicting a clergyman (possibly a monk) with a cup in his hand. The coat of arms of Aizpute in 1845 shows the same man with a cup in his hand on a checkered background. The coat of arms of 1850 is completely different from the previous ones. It depicts a masonry wall with a tower and a gate, above which the flag of the Russian Empire, above the gate - the coat of arms of the Kurzeme province, and in the window columns the years - 1378 and 1799. The current coat of arms has retained its resemblance to this variant.
In the 9th century, instead of the current Aizpute,
the Curonians built Beida Castle, from which the Aizpute castle
district was managed.
In the 13th century, Aizpute was part of the Curonian Spit, which was subjugated by the Livonian Order, and already in 1248 (or 1249), the Order's master Dietrich von Groningen ordered the construction of the Aizpute Order Castle. Therefore, the year 1249 is considered to be the year of foundation of Aizpute city. In 1253, after the division of Kurzeme, Aizpute (Hasenpotten) became part of the diocese of Kurzeme. Aizpute was granted city rights by Bishop Otto of Kurzeme on March 17, 1378.
In the second half of the 16th century, the prosperity of Aizpute began, as a trade port was established at the mouth of the Saka River, from where goods were delivered to Aizpute via Tabra. After the Second Northern War, the port of Saka was closed, which destroyed the foundations of the city's economy.
In 1795, Aizpute, together with the Piltene region, was included in the Kurzeme province of the Russian Empire. Until 1818, Aizpute, as the former capital of Piltene County, housed its highest administrative institutions - the Land Council and the Court. After that, it was the center of the Aizpute Governor's District, later the center of Aizpute County. In 1900, the Aizpute-Liepāja railway was opened.
During the 1905 revolution, a battle took place near Aizpute, in which a unit of the Russian penitent expedition was defeated (see the Aizpute War).
During the existence of the Latvian SSR, Aizpute lost its former administrative significance, from the county center (1819 - 1949) for a short time becoming the center of Aizpute district (1950 - 1962), but then as a simple small town in Liepāja district.
The construction of the castle of the
Aizpute Order was started in 1249 by Master of the Order Dietrich
von Groningen. The castle has been expanded several times. It was
inhabited until the mid-1970s. The castle has been a national
historical monument since 1998.
The museum in Aizpute has existed intermittently since 1935. During this time, it has changed its location several times. Since 1999, the museum has been located in the former manor house of Pilsmuiža, which was built at the end of the 18th century. There are five permanent exhibitions in the museum and art exhibitions are regularly exhibited in its exhibition hall.
The oldest bridge in Aizpute is a stone bridge over the river Tebra. It was built in 1907 and is one of the last built stone bridges in Latvia. It was designed by engineer Karro and built by businessman Folksdorf. In the central part of the stone railings of the bridge, the coat of arms of Manteifel and the inscription about the year of construction were engraved.
The watermill was completed in the late 18th or early 19th century. Next to them you can see the waterfall of the river Tebra. The manor brewery is located right next to the watermill. Built in the 19th century. at the end, combining two older Pilsmuiža farm buildings.
The church hill and the church were built after the Curonian uprising of 1260 at the place of repression, where the Aizpute Curonian castle was located before. The church was rebuilt several times and gained its current appearance in 1860. Aizpute Church is one of the oldest churches in Kurzeme. Since 1998, the church has been an architectural monument of national significance. Until the 16th century. it preached Catholicism. Later, the building passed into the possession of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Today it is Aizpute St. St. John's Lutheran Church.
The Lindenberg Cardboard Factory building was built in the early 20th century. Asks for the First World War, the factory prepared packaging materials for pharmacy halls, operated in the industries of cardboard, mills, stamps, labels, printing, paper goods, locksmiths, sawmills and clothes dyeing. It was the largest pre-war company in the city. After 1945, a factory was established on the basis of the factory, later MFR "Kurzeme" and A / S "Kurzemes atslēga - 1", which specializes in the production of keys and building hardware.
In the old town of Aizpute, wooden buildings have survived from the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The buildings of the Old Town are included in the list of European cultural heritage.
Misiņkalns Nature Park was started in the 1930s. It covers an
area of about 28 ha. Misinkalns is the highest place in Aizpute city
- 95.4 m above sea level. Restoration and cleaning of the park
plantations started in 1992. Today, the park is crossed by
pedestrian paths, there is a motorcycle track in its territory,
where Latvian-wide motocross competitions take place.
Repressed Memorial Alley and Memorial Stone is a linden and oak alley in memory of the 50 deportees who were deported to Siberia. The alley was restored in 1989, when a memorial stone was erected there.
The synagogue building was built in the second half of the 19th century. It operated as a synagogue until the German occupation during World War II. In 1955, it was transformed into a house of culture.
V.Jēriņa's doll collection includes a total of 300 differently dressed dolls.