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Old Town of Kandava

On the descent of the Abava River ancient valley where the stream changes its direction from north to west, one of the most picturesque towns of Latvia has grown – Kandava. It was mentioned for the first time in 1230, but it had already existed as a settlement for some centuries. The Order’s stone castle was built in 1253 and over the course of time a small village grew up next to it.

  • Old Town of Kandava
  • Kandava Powder Tower
  • Stone bridge across the Abava in Kandava

The historical centre of Kandava attracts visitors with its old town square and the houses located there. Construction of the historical centre around the old market place began at the end of the 19th century, after the fire of 1881, when stone and brick houses were built in place of the former wooden ones. Attention is drawn by the small storey streets, where buildings have different number of storeys on each end. Some buildings are decorated with communicating arches.

Two streets paved with rubble have remained - Lielā iela and a part of Talsu iela, as well as the oldest stone bridge in Latvia which was substantially repaired in 1997. Up to 1873, a ferry was used to cross the Abava River and a footbridge was built for pedestrians. The stone bridge across the Abava was built in 1873 at the initiative of Carl von Firks.

The bridge with four arches is 66 m long and it is considered to be the oldest stone bridge in Latvia. Construction of the bridge took place on the ground. When it was built, a new bed for the Abava was dug and the old one was filled up. The Lutheran Church was built in 1736. Baroque wood-engravings which date back as far as the 17th century, the altar piece “Christ on the Cross”, two engraved chandeliers (mid 19th century) and works of the applied art masters have been preserved in the church.

When arriving in Kandava, you will feel the aura of a genuine Latvian old town. And then, perhaps, you will understand why residents of Kandava are so proud.