Bauska Castle is situated in a picturesque place on the spit near the confluence of the rivers Musa and Memele. Here, people from the earliest times (according to archeologists, has 3500 years ago) lived along the banks of the three largest river is a River of the semigallian, memele and Musa. The settlement and the necropolis, discovered during archaeological excavations. Bauska Castle, once called in historical sources as Bauschkenborch, Bauskenburg, Powszke, Bawsenborg, Bowsenborch, Boske, Bauske, was built on the site of fortified settlements of the Balts of the late bronze age, during the rule of the master of the Livonian Order Finca Hejdenrejha von Overberga (1439-1450). The Livonian order built a fortress, to strengthen his power over the Zemgale, protect the border with Lithuania and control the trade route from Lithuania in Riga, that crossed here Memele. Bauska Castle was not only strengthening, but the county seat, where Vogt (Administrator and judge in the lands of the order) has carried out legal, financial and military management features on your site.
The reasons for the construction of the castle in this place were very serious. In 1410 in the battle of Grûnval′dskom was defeated the Teutonic order, “branch” which was based in Latvia and Estonia to the Livonian order, which also brought the loss, by intervening in the dispute over the Prince’s throne in Lithuania. The decisive battle took place September 1, 1435 River Šventoji, where the order was the biggest defeat in its history (more shattering even than the ice and Durbskoe 1242 battle in 1260 g.). It died and the master of the Livonian Order Kersdorf. Since then, the Lithuanian forces were busy Livonia, its metropolitan Riga was just two transitions of cavalry from the Lithuanian border. To protect Lithuania’s direction, it was decided to build a new fortress at the confluence of the rivers Mūsa and Mēmele where the main road to Riga.
The first known mention of Bauska Castle construction found in the letter of the master of the Livonian Order’s Finca Hejdenrejha von Overberga Revel (Tallinn), the Town Hall, dated the year 1443. What Tallinn? Because there was no one to erect a castle is the land around Bauska was devastated by wars, the few survivors of its inhabitants “proredila” smallpox epidemic. The southern edge of the central part of Latvia is depopulated, and for the construction of the castle was not less than five hundred builders. It was decided to go to Russia and order from there residents. Novgorod then quarreled with Moscow and had no forces to fully protect its western border. The Knights entered the sparse, but populous part of Novgorod around town Yamm. The prisoners were not Russians and ugro-Finnish of the tribe votov, partly Finnish people, partly by the Slavs. The result was not only built a fortress, but it struck again in the deserted edge of the Latvian population.
Considered that the construction of the insignia Castella was completed in 1451, 2005 near the Castle, on a peninsula formed by sediments of rivers Musa and Memele, there was a small settlement of artisans and fishermen called Vajrogmiests (Schildburg), already in 1584 he liquidated by order of Duke Gotarda Ketlera. Vajrogmiests was first mentioned in documents in 1518, under the bandname of Bauska. There have also been a church, schoolhouse and Pub. According to linguists, the name of the town occurred or from the words of bauska is bad, or from the word meadow bauze-head, the top of the Hill.
The bailiff’s residence was erected according to the terrain for a planning system: tower placed not on the corners, as usual, and in the middle of the fortress walls, the thickness of walls, vulnerable in the siege, more than double the thickness of the gate caught between two high semicircular towers of different diameter. Before 1495, and the castle was Elgavskomu (Mitavskomu) komturu.
During the Livonian war in the Vilnius, was signed August 31, 1559 Defense Treaty, which was signed by the master of the Livonian Order Gotthard Kettler and Polish Chancellor Nikolai Radziwill. Under this Treaty the Polish State has promised to make available to the Livonian order forces to fight with Russia. As payment for helping the Livonian order was temporarily given to Poland a few border areas and strongholds. Bauska Castle was handed over to the Governor of the Polish King in December, 1559.
The most famous in the history of the last Vogt Bauska Heinrich (Indrikis) von Galen, who together with landmaršalom Šallem von Bell from Sigulda, Kuldīga komtur and his brother Christoph von Zibergom, Vogt of kandava in 1560, the remnants of his troops gathered and gave battle Russian forces near Ermes (Ergeme). An attempt to confront a stronger foe over the defeat of the Knights, more than 500 people have lost their lives.
In 1561, the last Archbishop of Riga William of Brandenburg in Exchange for the castle of Koknese got from Bauskuû Castle poles. March 3, 1562, the Livonian order was eliminated, and his latest master Gotthard Kettler became Duke of Kurzeme and Zemgal′skim, sworn allegiance to the Polish King Sigismund II Augustus. At the end of the year the castle was transferred to the ownership of the Duke. In 1568, the Duke of Courland-th 2 convened a Landtag in Bauska Castle, where, among other things, it was decided that the diet during the winter, will take place in Mitave (Jelgava), and in summer in Bauska. Here were the Duchy of Courland diet 1568, 1590, 1601, and at a later date.
According to the Chronicle of Balthasar Russow in during the Livonian war Bauska negotiated Duke Magnus: “to end the deal with King and get rid of reckoning with the formidable John Duke Magnus secretly left with the woman of Oberpalena [now Põltsamaa in Estonia] in Pil′ten. From here he in 1578 he went to where the birds-eye VEW and entered into negotiations with Prince Nikolai Radzivil, voevodoû and Grand Hetman of Lithuania. The negotiations ended in 1579, the fact that Duke Magnus all their possessions to the Bishop pil′tenskim gave under the auspices of Lithuania with, however, of his brother, the King of Denmark “. And three years later a peace agreement in January 15, 1582 during the Livonian war over the centuries.
At the same time began to build new Bauska Castle instead of the Eastern forburga of the old fortress. After the death of Gotarda in 1587, the yard and the Duchy moved to Bauska Castle and resided here until 1596, which is considered to be the year of completion of the Castle, as evidenced by and found in the ruins of a stone relief with the inscription “Soli Deo Gloria Anno 1596”.
This year (1596), as stipulated in the will of the Duke of Gotarda, in the castle of Kalnamujža in Tērvete signed the Act of the Duchy between the sons of the old Duke, Friedrich and Wilhelm. Duke Frederick along with the yard moved to Jelgava. In 1605, the Landtag convened last time in Bauska.
Considered that the status of the city was Bauska in 1609, when Duke Frederick gave the city coat of arms depicting a lion.
In 1621, in the beginning of the Polish-Swedish war, Swedish troops occupied Riga and Jelgava. Yard Duke Friedrich Ketlera temporarily housed in Bauska Castle, where he remained until 1624, in 1625, the Swedish army, coming from Lithuania, surrounded the Bauska Castle and was able to take it, thanks to the betrayal of one of the local Burger. Bauska Castle was the first captured the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf in the battle under his personal command. The Swedes stayed in the Castle until 1628, when the Polish Commander Alexander Gonsevskomu was able to force them to leave the Castle without a fight.
August 16, 1642 Duke Frederick died, and the throne was the son of his brother William, Jacob. In 1658, the Swedish army had invaded in Zemgale and Jelgava, was taken prisoner by the Duke family and forced the Swedes to Bauska, Dobele locks. To return the Bauska Castle, Polish military leader Alexander Polubinskij several times besieged it, but was unable to. Swedish army left the Castle after the signing of the razorënnyj Oliwa peace in 1660, during the war the castle was severely damaged.
In 1700 in Bauska arrived Russian Tsar Peter I and the Polish King Augustus II the strong. There is a legend that both monarchs had breakfast together on a large stone, lying still and now on the corner of Kalnu and Rupniecibas Street. At the beginning of the great northern war, the Swedish army in 1701 he conquered the Bauska Castle. In Frauènburge (now-Saldus) August 23, 1701 the Swedish King has signed the order about construction of fortifications in Bauska. Major-General Charles Stuart was asked to make Magnus plan new earthworks. Started extensive work on restructuring. At the end of August 1705, the part of Russian troops captured the entire Kurlândiej. 14 September Swedish garrison of the Castle surrendered without a fight. In March 1706, the Russian Tsar Peter the great ordered his generals to bulldoze the Jelgava reached places and Bauskie strengthening. Explosions touched mainly bastions and embankments, as well as the southern part of new castle.
After the great northern war the Duke Ferdinand Kettler in Kurzeme never returned. In 1710-11 years. The great plague was raging and Bauska, where one third of the population died out. The surviving inhabitants of the city secretly set about dismantling the ruins of the castle for their household needs. At the end of the 18th century, during the rebellion of Tadeush Kostyushko Russian army, sent in Bauska, could not use the lock housing, because it was destroyed. In 1795, the Duchy of Courland, when it was joined to Russia, Bauska district Bauskim district became the Courland governorate.
In 1812, the German army invaded the Lands of the zavoëvannoj of Prussia by Napoleon. They occupied Jelgava and Bauska (6 July), where he stayed from July to December. Invaders included the restoration of the Duchy of Courland and attach it to the Kingdom of Prussia. France was defeated in the war. Already in the autumn of 1812, the Prussian troops had to leave Courland.
The castle in Bauska, as with other connected many legends. Say, for example, that in the Royal Library of Stockholm Castle dungeons, plans have to indicate exactly where the buried treasures of the local nobility and even the hidden golden carriage of the Duke. These rumors have long agitated the minds of amateur archaeologists. At the end of the 19th century the owner of the estate in Mežotne Paul von Lieven began excavations of the secret which was allegedly between the estate and Castle, but the results of searches of unknown and, most likely, this is also a legend. During the revolution of 1905, on the ruins of the Bauska Castle 25 October took place the first outdoor rally, attended by about 2000 workers.
In 1973 he began work on the restoration of the castle was a residence of the Dukes of Courland. Currently, visitors can explore the ruins of the Livonian Order’s ramparts the Castle and climb to the top of the central tower, which offers scenic views of the surrounding area. The Museum offers tours of the participated in the residence. Here the exhibition “new Bauska Castle-history, research, restoration”.
The old Castle-castle of the Livonian order in Bauska was built at the confluence of the rivers Musa and Memele. The length of the castle was about 124 m, width 43 m and the total area of the 5230, five towers connected by thick fortress walls, to which are attached from the inside of the building of various sizes to meet the needs of the garrison. The entrance was in the eastern part of the fortress between two četyrëhètažnymi towers. Over the gate of the overbuilt several floors that connect the towers. In front of the gate was a defensive ditch with raised bridge.
The large, semicircular Tower, sometimes referred to as “the guardian of the mountain,” is adjacent to the rear of the Ramana extension of the same height. Its premises were used together with a large Tower. The first floor of the tower was covered with barrel vault and the walls were three embrasures. On the first floor there is a lush četyrëhkonečnyj star set in the residence of the bailiff’s. The thickness of the walls of the towers here reaches 4 m at the Northwest corner of the fireplace and chimney have survived, and in the South-exit at dancker. The third and fourth floors of a tower designed for the defense of the Castle. The cellar under a big tower was used as a prison. Already in the 16th century there was a political opponent of master of the order Burchard Val′dis, author of bitter Fables and epigrams.
On the north side of the gate is the second smaller Tower. The cellar-level towers connected by underpass. The second floor of a small tower was adapted for housing. The first and top floors, as well as a superstructure above the gate were used to protect the gate. The wall thickness of 1.7 meters, connects the small tower with rectangular bath with North-Western Tower, was the three-storey building. The second floor of the building was blocked off cross vaults.
The North-Western Tower there to the North, this ensured the North Tower flankiruûŝim the fire. In the middle part of the Western Wall of the tower with corner radius on the corners. There was a cellar under a vaulted ceiling and downstairs _ from three sides. On top of it is difficult to judge, it collapsed, and old images of this tower is not visible. Between the North-Western and Western towers of the fortress wall had small gates.
In the middle of the south wall thickness 3.6 meter built the Tower of Ramana, adapted for the use of guns. This is confirmed by the chimneys in bojnice. The shape and location of the Tower Show early in the use of firearms. Further development of the art of war has led to the placement of towers at the corners of the fortress, in order to increase the area of the shelling. It is difficult to judge the height of the tower. Old drawings it is dilapidated, but it clearly shows that was lower than the tower at the gate. The loopholes on the second floor of the southern wall suggest that there was an extension to the building or the gallery. Courtyard of the fortress was laid with slabs of raw dolomite. Of the same ones made and drains. There was a well in the middle of the yard.
The original gates were protected by a dry moat and raised a bridge over it. For a moat stood a log palisade. Later the moat and in the eastern part of the settlement was an outer Bailey was built. Three walls and two corner towers formed a closed courtyard with a gate in the southern wall at the South-East Tower. Inside the new fortresses were attached to the walls separate stone buildings. The outside wall was dug along the east ditch, which was filled in the early 17th century.
New Castle-the residence of the Dukes of Courland. In the 70 ‘s. The 16th century building forburga of the old fortress was partially demolished the vacated territory to build a residence of the Dukes of Courland. During construction of the preserved old fortress wall, Tower. Three two-storey buildings located podkovoobrazno and two towers formed a closed courtyard.
Layout is simple-a number of us in the enfilade of premises. On the second floor of the North building has space for offices and apartments of the Duke. On both floors of the East building-dwellings. On the lower floors of the North and South buildings were warehouses and business premises. In the South building at the gates-the room of the soldiers, on the other side of the gate, in the South-East Tower-karetnik. The second floor can be reached by a narrow staircase in the wall or directly from the yard.
Judging by the archives and archaeological materials, the old fortress at this time also enjoyed. The loopholes of the second floor of the northern wing, remodeled under the window. On the first floor were brewery and bakery, and the Tower cellars, ammunition dumps and a prison. At the end of the 16th century for the construction of a new Castle and new embankment around it, which continued to improve until the beginning of the 18th century focused on building the most affordable East side. Prior to 1625, the roundel were built around the South-East Tower, a protective moat, two bastions and the log palisade. In the second half of the 17th century, probably strengthened the West side and started rebuilding the Eastern bastions.
The shaft once again perfected in the early 18th century under the leadership of Swedish engineers ramparts and bastions from the East have broadened towards the city. Most rebuilt fortifications of the old fortress. New earth walls erected close to the banks of both rivers, moving them away from the wall. On the edges of the earthworks, front scissor bridges, ravelins were constructed.
Outdoor stair and rich interior decoration is partly lost in the 17th century and was finally destroyed in 1706, during the great northern war, when the Castle and Palace were blown up. At the end of the 19th century and in the 1930-ies. was made fragmentary preservation and restoration of the Castle. In 1821, the cellars of the Castle were filled in on the order of Russian Tsar Alexander I, and the moves of the bricked up. From 1959 he conducted extensive archaeological excavations, restoration, conservation. As a result of excavation many finds and received comprehensive information on the principles of building heating systems and furnaces of the time. In 1976 he began archaeological research of the Castle (the archaeologist a. Caune, then Grube). Stated that up to the castle on this site already in the 1st century BC. There was a fortified settlement (found antiquities from bone, flint and stone, fragments of clay vessels). In 1980, the reconstruction of the buildings, built during the reign of Duke.
In winter the castle is closed to tourists, but here and now in full swing come the construction work. In December 2007, the new year, the paving of communication through the earthen ramparts, near the protective moat builders discovered the cannon of the 17th century is expected to cast on one of the čugunolitejnyh of the Duchy of Courland and the manufacturing was probably one of those guns, destroyed by order of Peter the great.
At the end of the third week of July at the castle is a traditional early music festival. Since 1990, the Museum is housed in the Castle, whose time with the 1 May to 1 November every day from 09:00 to 19:00. Beginning in the fall of 2008, in the halls of the new Palace you will discover the lives and mores of the era of Mannerism, having been a guest of Duke Gotarda Kettlera and his wife Anna. One of the Museum halls entirely given to dolls. Doll House in several floors, a collection of information gathered by the artist Tamara Cudnovska’s and souvenir dolls, which for many years were brought to the Museum from all over the world to his staff. Contact information for the Museum in the Castle.
Bauska Castle legend
Exactly at midnight on the Tower of Bauska Castle rises master, once vozvodivšij his wall, and continued to work. According to local legend, many centuries ago, Mason was buried near the Castle, and his spirit all can not accept the fact that his hand was destroyed by wars of … Appear near the Castle and two more ghost-guardians of the prospavšie, the enemy at the Castle gate. At night they return to the place where he was leading to the Castle bridge, and attempt to cut the enemy failed. For several centuries all saw and sawing and saw a. …