Krustpils Castle (Kreutzburg) is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Latvia. The first written reference of the Krustpils dates from 1237, when the Archbishop of Riga built a castle named Kreutz. In 1359, the Livonian order took seven castles belonging to the Riga Archbishopric, being Krustpils among them. During the Livonian war in 1559 the castle was devastated.
When the Livonian state was dissolved, Krustpils became property of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1561 to 1772, while the opposite Jēkabpils was part of the Duchy of Courland and Zemgale. The difference between the Latgalian language and the Selonian dialect of the inhabitants on either side of the Daugava River remains as of today. In 1585,Stephen Báthory of Poland granted a large area which included Krustpils to general Nikolai von Korff, whose family owned the castle until the Latvian agrarian reforms of 1920 came into effect. As Krustpils castle became a residence of landlords, it gradually lost its medieval character.
In the 18th century the castle got a representative look when Baroque elements were added to exterior of the castle. At the time of the Russo-Turkish War from 1877 to 1878, there was a camp for Turkish prisoners of war, many of whom settled here permanently.
Krustpils castle together with other buildings of this complex was transferred to the Latvian army after 1920 and the Latgale artillery regiment was located there. During the Second World War infirmary of the German army was located there. The Military hospital of the Red Army was placed to Krustpils after August 1944.
During the Soviet times regiments of Soviet army were located in the castle such as the 16th regiment of long-range intelligence aviation and main storehouses of the 15th air regiment. For 50 years the premises were not managed and were close to be considered as ruins. After 1991 there has been ongoing active investigation and renewal of the castle.References:
The Goseck circle is a Neolithic circle structure. It may be the oldest and best known of the Circular Enclosures associated with the Central European Neolithic. It also may be one of the oldest Solar observatories in the world. It consists of a set of concentric ditches 75 metres across and two palisade rings containing gates in places aligned with sunrise and sunset on the solstice days.
Its construction is dated to c. 4900 BC, and it seems to have remained in use until 4600 BC. This corresponds to the transitional phase between the Neolithic Linear Pottery and Stroke-ornamented ware cultures. It is one of a larger group of so-called Circular Enclosures in the Elbe and Danube region, most of which show similar alignments.
Excavators also found the remains of what may have been ritual fires, animal and human bones, and a headless skeleton near the southeastern gate, that could be interpreted as traces of human sacrifice or specific burial ritual. There is no sign of fire or of other destruction, so why the site was abandoned is unknown. Later villagers built a defensive moat following the ditches of the old enclosure.
The Goseck ring is one of the best preserved and extensively investigated of the many similar structures built at around the same time. Traces of the original configuration reveal that the Goseck ring consisted of four concentric circles, a mound, a ditch, and two wooden palisades. The palisades had three sets of gates facing southeast, southwest, and north. At the winter solstice, observers at the center would have seen the sun rise and set through the southeast and southwest gates.
Archaeologists generally agree that Goseck circle was used for observation of the course of the Sun in the course of the solar year. Together with calendar calculations, it allowed coordinating an easily judged lunar calendar with the more demanding measurements of a solar calendar.