Rundāles pils – The Baltic Versailles
This part of the “Baltic states special” brings us to the south of Latvia.
After a car ride of 21 hours and a bit of relaxation we stayed in Latvia’s South for the rest of the day to visit Rundāles pils (en: Rundāle Palace) and the Bauskas pils, which is a castle in Bauska.
The castle ground of Bauska’s castle were firstly established at 1443 by a German Order. Since then it has been renovated and extended a few times. The process is documented quite well in the castle’s museum. Today, it consists of two pieces: A Renaissance-style palace and a castle ruin.
Especially the palace part was renovated and restored true to the original. At some rooms we had to wear little plastic bags over our shoes to protect the ground.
The castle tower is a highlight of this place, because it’s nice view.
After a just 10-minute car ride Rundāles pils can be reached. Students pay 6 Euro (August 2015) to visit the complex. If you like to take pictures it’s Euro extra. Camcorders cost 5 Euro, tripods 50 Euro.
The name “Baltic Versailles” isn’t a skretch, because it was build in 1735 after the example of Versailles. It was ordered by a Russian czarina, who ordered it for the Duke of Kurzeme. But he only used it for about three years. After the czarina’s death, he was banned to Siberia. This also for a limited time because czarina Katharina II. allowed him to return.
In 1920 the palace’s owners were expropriated and since that the palace belongs to Latvian state property. Meanwhile it was used as school, accommodation or granary before the restoration in 1972 began.
The first room to visit is the throne room. Already here many ornaments can be found all over the room, the ceiling is painted as well. I really liked this painting with scythe and hour glass.
The palace has 138 room, each of those has its own colour concept. Quite often the chair’s covers match the wallpaper. There are many boards explaining the room’s furniture and so on. However not many of them are bilingual.
The entire palace’s area is about 7000 m², but not all of it can be visited. It also wasn’t were the Incognito-doors lead to, I guess it was used by servants
Besides rooms and furniture many valuable paintings and porcelain can be seen.
Whereas orientation within the palace is quite easy, it’s garden seems to be completely chaotic, which is typical for this kind of garden.
Now it’s time to discover Riga, the Latvian capital. This will be the next post’s topic.