Latgalian Potters — masters of clay

Rēzekne lies amidst an impressive scenery of green meadows and lakes, countryside roads and forests in the very heart of Latgale region in Eastern Latvia. Rēzekne has always been regarded a centre of spirituality, culture and education, and can be duly proud of its Latgalian pottery traditions. Rēzekne was selected an EDEN destination in 2008.

Rēzekne is a pictureque city located on seven hillocks, not far from the highest hills of Latgale – Mākoņkalns and Lielais Liepu kalns – and the largest lakes of Latvia – Rāzna and Lubāns, connected by the River Rēzekne. Rēzekne is not only the historical and spiritual core of Latgale but also its geographical centre. Rēzekne lies not far from the border with Russia, and thus the city with its roads and railway junctions gains a strategic importance.

Latgale can be duly proud of its craftsmen. Latgalian pottery masters have earned particular acclaim. They create most diverse items: pots, vases, jugs, plates, candle holders, whistles… It would be hardly possible to name them all. A lump of clay in their hands turns into a piece of art. This is because the unique esthetic vision and tradition are honoured and passed on from generation to generation.   

The annual pottery days and openings of new kilns are important events. Those interested in pottery can try a hand in throwing a pot, for the ceramics masters of Latgale are always ready to open their studio doors to visitors and tell them about the finest details of pottery art.

A visitor should not miss a major collection of Latgalian ceramics, paintings and ethnographical objects in the Latgale cultural history museum. The collection can be viewed at two permanent expositions – Rēzekne during the ages, and Latgale ceramics.

Other sights to see in Rēzekne:

  • The ruins of the Rēzekne castle put up in the 13th century and destroyed by Swedish troops between 1656-60. The castle was never fully restored.

  • Rēzekne’s Heart of Jesus Cathedral, built in the early 20th century on the foundation of a wooden church; the building combines pseudo-Romantic and Gothic styles.

  • Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran church. Beside regular service, the church hosts classical music concerts.

  • Our Lady of Sorrow Catholic Church.

  • Orthodox Church of the Birth of Our Lady.

  • St Nicholas prayer house of Old Believers.

  • The Art House of Rēzekne Art School. Its 19th century facade is richly decorated with unique woodcarvings.