Rundāle Palace, the brightest jewel in the crown of Latvian architecture, is located 10 km from Bauska. The palace of Johann Biron, favourite of Russian Tsarina Anna Ivanovna, was built by legendary Russian court architect Francesco Rastrelli, and is an outstanding monument of Baroque and Rococo art. Visitors will appreciate the palace’s impressive facade, lavish interiors and fantastic Baroque-style rose garden, home to Latvia’s largest collection of roses. The palace also regularly hosts first-class concerts and performances.
On the way back through Bauska, stop at Bauska Castle between the Mūsa and Mēmele rivers – Latvia’s only example of Mannerism-period castle architecture and applied decorative arts typical of the Duchy of Courland. Several displays on castle history and historical garments are on show here, and you can climb the central tower for a panoramic view of Bauska.
7 km away, Mežotne Palace, on the other hand, is Latvia’s most striking example of Classicism architecture. Most magnificent of all is its Dome Hall. The palace was built on the orders of Russian Empress Catherine I for her children’s beloved governess Charlotte von Lieven. A well-maintained English-style garden surrounds the castle.
You will need a car to travel the full route, but Bauska can also be reached by bus (www.autoosta.lv).