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 Erfurt Synagogue was built c. 1094. It is thought to be the oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe. Thanks to the extensive preservation of the original structure, it has a special place in the history of art and architecture and is among the most impressive and highly rated architectural monuments in Erfurt and Thuringia. The synagogue was constructed during the Middle Ages on the via regia, one of the major European trade routes, at the heart of the historical old quarter very close to the Merchants Bridge and the town hall. Many parts of the structure still remain today, including all four thick outer walls, the Romanesque gemel window, the Gothic rose window and the entrance to the synagogue room.
After extensive restoration, the building was reopened in 2009. On display in the exhibition rooms is an collection of medieval treasures discovered during archaeological excavations. This includes 3,140 silver coins, 14 silver ingots, approx. 6,000 works of goldsmithery from the 13th and 14th centuries and an intricately worked wedding ring of the period, of which only two others are known to exist anywhere in the world. A mikveh (Jewish bath) has been excavated close by (13th/14th century). The Old Synagogue, the Small Synagogue and two Jewish cemeteries together form a network of historical buildings and sites which vividly portray the role of Jewish life in the history of Erfurt.