Embūte Castle ruins are located not far from an ancient castle hill erected by Curonians which was an ancient Curonian settlement and is mentioned in ancient chronicles as a place with strong Curonian resistance to German crusaders.
Embūte Castle was built in the middle of the 13th century as residence for the Bishop of Courland. It came in the hands of the Livonian Order for a short period, but in the end of the 13th century it again belonged to the bishop. The castle was many times rented in the following centuries. In the 16th century the castle became a centre of big manors and residence for local German landlords. The castle was destroyed in the Great Northern War. Some documents from the 18th century tells, that only the castle walls are preserved. In the same century a manor was erected on the old castle walls. It was expanded in the 19th century by demolishing one of the old gate towers.
The last owner of the castle was the widow of Hans von Hahn. The castle burned down in 1920 and the baroness moved to Germany. Local rumours says that the baroness burned the castle to avoid its nationalization by the new Latvian government. During the agrarian reforms in Latvia (1921–1930) all manors and land was nationalized and divided by the Latvian government. After the Second World War, the local Soviet kolkhoz used stones from the castle as building materials.
Today's ruins are surrounded by trees and in quite bad condition. Only fragments of some walls and towers are visible.References:
The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.
The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr.