Jaunpils Castle

Jaunpils, Latvia

Jaunpils Castle was erected in 1301 by the Master of the German branch of the Livonian Order, Gottfried von Roga. The tower was added in the 15th century. The castle was heavily damaged in war by Swedes in 1625. Later a third floor was added and the old fortress became a manor with all conveniences in the end of the 17th century. The building was partly reconstructed in 18th century. The castle was burned down during the Russian Revolution of 1905. A year later it was rebuilt by architect Wilhelm Bockslaff.

From the 16th century until 1920 the castle belonged to the family of the Baltic German baron von der Recke. One of the family members who lived there in the 18th century was the poet Elisa von der Recke. After the Latvian agrarian reforms of 1920s, the castle complex housed a cattle-breeding experimental station. During the Soviet occupation of Latvia, the interior of the castle was heavily reconstructed and today Jaunpils castle has typical Soviet interiors from the 1960s. More of a manor house than properly a fortified castle, it has now been converted into a hotel.

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Address

P104, Jaunpils, Latvia
See all sites in Jaunpils

Details

Founded: 1301
Category: Castles and fortifications in Latvia
Historical period: State of the Teutonic Order (Latvia)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Madara Ceriņa (2 months ago)
Amazing castle, great guides who makes the excursion interesting and fun. There are huge variety of excursions available depending from your preferences, also dressovers available and romantic excursions for weddings or couples. In Medieval tavern located in the yard you can enjoy amazing medieval style meals fir reasonable prices, big portions. Stunning place!!! near by are craft workshops, Katvaru nature trails and also old mill.
1leven (2 months ago)
Delicious food and superb service. 10/10
Audrius Moncius (6 months ago)
Just stoped for a quick meal. Food was delicious. Castle from outside looked nice.
Wera Fallmann (6 months ago)
A rather outstanding place. You can sleep, eat and feel at home in the castle. There is also a museum, excursions feature medieval-style costumes, and there's a nice pond next to the castle.
Mārcis Kadeģis (6 months ago)
Attended a wedding here. Great reception and a beautiful place
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Glimmingehus, is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".