Cīrava Palace is a national architecture monument included in the list of the culture monuments under state protection. The oldest county administrative documents relating to the subsequent estate are no longer found in publications or extracts from the Baltic German historians archives.
The palace has its roots in a time when the Aizpute and Sakaslejas county belonged to the bishopric of Courland. It was built in 1752 as a hunting palace for the German Baltic baron family von Manteuffel-Szoeges. It was an unimpressive, simple building. In 1868 the palace was rebuilt and expanded in the Tudor–Neo-Gothic style by the project of Teodor Zeiler. Interior elements in the palace are partly preserved, there are ornamental plafonds in some rooms and hearth with marble decorations dating back to beginning of nineteenth century. After this reconstruction, the palace became a quite impressive building with very individual forms and look.
On 16 December 1730 the king confirmed that Otto Friedrich von Behr and his wife Katharina, and their descendants, were the owners of the old Cīrava manor. In 1774 King Stanisław August Poniatowski confirmed Herman Friedrich von Behr and his wife Elizabeth, and their descendants, as the new owners of the estate. In October 1781 the property was inherited by Šarlote Katarīna, and in the summer of 1781 it was acquired by Karl Gothard Ernst von Manteuffel-Szoeges, landlord of Kazdanga Palace.
In the spring of 1921 the estate was nationalized and became part of the Latvian state, which took hold of the manor, some 700 ha. of arable land and 150 ha. of grasslands. From 1922 until 1951 the technical school of forestry (Meža skola) was housed in the palace. Later it served as technical school of agriculture. The last few decades the palace has stood empty and needs renovation jobs. There are some plans to renovate it and transform it to a hotel.
The palace is surrounded by a 19th century landscape park. There is also a decorative pond with two islands and a big collection of trees and bushes in the park. G. Kuffalt, the main gardener of Riga, took part in the creation of the Cīrava Palace park.References:
From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.
Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.
In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.
Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.