Igene church is one of the few wooden churches in Latvia. It was built in 1757. The shape of the dimension, layout and proportions of the church are archaic bearing evidence of preservation of ancient traditions of wooden craft. The church was and financed by the owner of Igene Manor Alexander von den Brincken. The one-nave log building is planked with horizontally painted boards, there is a polygonal apse, sacristy and a square bell tower with a polygonal roof peak brought forward from the building.

There are several valuable items in the church: the altar (1752) and pulpit, which were not very successfully painted in 1932. During the restoration, when the top layer of the black colouring was cleaned, paintings were uncovered, which indicate that the pulpit and the altar are older than the church itself. The fitting of the door lock (18th century) and the wind-cock on the tower (1757) are peculiar.

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Iģene, Talsi, Latvia
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Details

Founded: 1757
Category: Religious sites in Latvia
Historical period: Part of the Russian Empire (Latvia)

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The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.