Sigulda New Castle

Sigulda, Latvia

The Sigulda manor center began to develop in the fore-castle area of Sigulda Medieval Castle during the 17th century. There are still a few remaining 18th and 19th century buildings built during the ownership of the Von Borghs and Kropotkins. These are the Summer Castle, the New Castle, the White Castle, the vagar's (supervisor of serfs) house, the servants' house, a barn, a laundry house and a vegetable and fruit basement. The manor center is enclosed by chipped boulder walls with a splendid gate structure.

The New Castle was built during the time of Duchess Olga and Duke Dimitry Kropotkins from 1878 until 1881 using the materials from an older building which stood here during the 17th century.

The master’s house was built in neo-gothic style by Jānis Mengelis from Cēsis. The planning and the shape of the house is simple. The architectural and artistic value of the castle is achieved through the successful use of Gothic forms and the color shades from the recycled chipped boulders. Looking through any window, you will have a panoramic view of the Gauja valley including the ruins of Sigulda castle. Farther away you will see the ruins of Krimulda and Turaida. On the opposite side there is a neatly landscaped yard.

During World War I this building was destroyed. In 1922, following the agrarian reforms, New Castle became the Writers’ Castle because it was used by the Latvian Union of Writers and Journalists. The building was in unusable condition after the war so the Union had to invest a large amount of money for restoration. In the 1920’s and 30’s, full room and board was offered to writers and literary types as well as other visitors.

In 1934 the castle was acquired by the Latvian Press Society. From 1936 to 1937, major reconstruction work was done under the leadership of architect August Birkhans. Building plans were completely re-drawn. The overlook tower was heightened, the terrace around the building was expanded and a new balcony was added to the second floor. Inside, a new modern-age interior design was installed. It became the most notable example of national modern design in the Baltic region. Many famous artists of that time such as Niklāvs Strunke, Pēteris Ozoliņš, Kārlis Sūniņš, and Vilhelms Vasariņš took a part in creating it. Pictures of the castle were found in French art magazines as the press at the time would report. The Writers Castle became a popular visitor's destination after the renovation.

In 1938, the monument of Atis Kronvalds, made by Teodors Zalkalns, was unveiled at the front of the New Castle. Atis Kronvalds was a teacher and a publicist and helped initiate the second wave of the New Latvian movement.

During World War II, the New Castle was used as a headquarters for the Nord division of the German army. After the war, the USSR Council of Ministers made it a recreation house for high state officials. In 1953, the Health department of the Latvian SSR established the Sigulda rehabilitation center which was in operation until the restoration of Latvian independence.

From 1993 through 2002, the New Castle held the Sigulda City council and then, beginning in 2003, the Sigulda District Council.

Next to the New Castle there is a yellow house known as the Summer Castle. It was built at the turn of the 18th or 19th century in style of classicism. The elongated wooden house was built by a master-builder from Cēsis, a man called the last of the Livs of Vidzeme, Mārcis Sārums. Initially Kropotkin's family used the building as a personal orthodox church after the completion of the New Castle in 1881. Services were held by the orthodox priest of Ledurga parish. The building also came under reconstruction when the Writers and Journalists Union obtained ownership and remodeled it to become a boarding-house.

An art gallery was installed in the former brewery of Sigulda manor. Artist Elmārs Gaigalnieks has, over the past 12 years, created the unique technique of sand art which is in continuous development. In this special atmosphere, you can view the sand art and the three dimensional installations. There is also a unique collection of sand samples from five continents.

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

Gaujas iela, Sigulda, Latvia
See all sites in Sigulda

Details

Founded: 1878-1881
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Latvia
Historical period: Part of the Russian Empire (Latvia)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ivana Maria (5 months ago)
My boyfriend and I had an amazing time at the castle. The views of the snowy forrest were beautiful and the history of the castle was very interesting. I also loved the ice sculptures. We would definitely recommend to visit, it is a short walk from the train station. The student tickets were also very affordable and the lady who sold them to us was very polite and helpful.
Francesco Libardoni (5 months ago)
The castle ruins are really nice. The place is not big and there is not a lot to see. But the view is really good, plus you can enjoy some nice walks in the woods. Ticket price was honest (2,5€ per person). Overall, I would recommend a visit.
Nicola Jade Hassall (9 months ago)
Beautiful collection of historical buildings in gorgeous nature surroundings. Also an old cold war bunker to explore if you dare!!
Albany Bradley (10 months ago)
This is a lovely setting in the sunshine to explore the green space and visit some local history. The castle ruins are accessible and can be climbed to see views across the land. It doesn't take very long to see all of the castle, but the grounds are beautiful and you can explore further via footpaths. This was easily accessed from Riga by trains.
Stefan Savolainen (11 months ago)
A nice ancient castle and surrounding buildings in a cozy small town. Fun to visit whether you're passing by or going there deliberately. Beautiful gardens as well and lots of parking spaces! You can walk around the castle grounds a bit but going inside the historical building or crossing the bridge to castle proper costs. Students and kids get discounts or it's free, I don't quite remember.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Wieskirche

The Pilgrimage Church of Wies (Wieskirche) is an oval rococo church, designed in the late 1740s by Dominikus Zimmermann. It is located in the foothills of the Alps in the municipality of Steingaden.

The sanctuary of Wies is a pilgrimage church extraordinarily well-preserved in the beautiful setting of an Alpine valley, and is a perfect masterpiece of Rococo art and creative genius, as well as an exceptional testimony to a civilization that has disappeared.

The hamlet of Wies, in 1738, is said to have been the setting of a miracle in which tears were seen on a simple wooden figure of Christ mounted on a column that was no longer venerated by the Premonstratensian monks of the Abbey. A wooden chapel constructed in the fields housed the miraculous statue for some time. However, pilgrims from Germany, Austria, Bohemia, and even Italy became so numerous that the Abbot of the Premonstratensians of Steingaden decided to construct a splendid sanctuary.