Koknese Castle Ruins

Koknese, Latvia

Before the arrival of the Teutonic Knights, Koknese was the site of a wooden hill fort inhabited by the Balts. In 1209 Bishop Albert of Riga ordered the construction of a stone castle at the site, naming it Kokenhusen. For the first 50 years of its existence, Koknese was solely used as a defensive fort, but by 1277, Koknese had enough population to receive city rights. Koknese also became a member of the Hanseatic League thanks to its strategic location on the Daugava trade route.

The castle was heavily contested between Polish, Swedish and Russian forces in the 16th and 17th centuries. It changed hands many times, while the native inhabitants endured periodic slaughter, capture, and famine. In 1701, during the Great Northern War, Koknese was finally blown up by retreating forces to avoid the strategic castle falling into advancing Russian hands. The castle was never rebuilt and fell to ruin.

In 1900, a park was established around the castle ruins, and Koknese became a popular summer resort. The area was known for its scenic waterfalls, cliffs, and look-outs. In 1965, the Soviet government built Pļaviņas Hydro Power Plant in the town of Aizkraukle. The reservoir flooded the entire length of the Daugava to Pļaviņas. Koknese Castle, once sitting atop a high bluff, was placed at the river's edge, while the scenic Daugava valley was submerged.



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Founded: 1209
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Latvia
Historical period: State of the Teutonic Order (Latvia)


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Peteris Lukss (10 months ago)
One of the most beautiful castle ruins in Latvia. I really hope that one day we will be able to all the walley which is under the water now
Sintija Rubene (11 months ago)
Lovely place to visit if you are not far away, we visited in stormy/windy weather and had such fun, we was only people around so enjoyed it. Entrance was 2 € from person, so it’s affordable and have lovely park around it so can have some good walk as well.
REALAIS (14 months ago)
Awsome ruins. Entrance costs 2€. I can recommend to visit this ppace, especially in sunny summer day. Love Latvia.
Jack Ollerton (15 months ago)
Beautiful location by River, lots of information boards and trails, car park available too, Cafe and toilets which were closed until summer. No ticket required, Free to enter! Could explore all areas of the ruins without any restrictions, went on a week day and didn’t see anyone else.
Jana L (2 years ago)
There wasn't much left of the castle. Still, beautiful area to walk around, there's a beautiful park so great for a casual stroll. Saw lots of beautiful birds and flowers on our walk. Also a tiny waterfall and a devil's Den.
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