You are here
Dundaga Castle and Surroundings
During the second half of the 13th century the Riga Dome Cathedral Chapter built Dundaga Castle for its practical purposes. During later centuries, the castle served both as a stronghold and as living quarters for its owners. The family of Osten-Saken was the last private owner of the castle, and they managed the castle from 1711 until the agrarian reforms in Latvia in 1920.
Dundaga Castle is the largest castle built in 13th century in North Kurzeme, with an inner yard, a gate tower, and 2-3 metres thick walls, and it has been well-preserved. There is a more than 20 hectare large park by the castle with trees representing 48 species and five listed trees. Dundaga Secondary School was placed in the castle during the Soviet period.
In 1872 and 1905 the castle experienced major fires, however, it was renovated both times.
The tower over the entrance to the north-western section of the castle is decorated by the Coats-of-Arms of the three last owners from the Osten-Saken family. There are several legends associated with the Dundaga Castle. As one legend has it, when a gnome king was celebrating his wedding at the Dundaga Castle, the baron's sister unintentionally interrupted the festivity, and for this she was walled in alive. She is the so-called Green Maiden (Jumprava) whose ghost is still haunting the castle.
Today the castle is a home for the Art and Music School and a Museum, which explains the construction stages of the castle in a single room, but the adjoining rooms offer seeing a collection of ancient objects. Also the permanent exhibition of medals, which is the only such exhibition in Latvia, can be seen in the Dundaga Castle in collaboration with the Latvian Club of Medal Art.
The permanent exhibition dedicated to the resident of Dundaga Arvīds Blūmentāls (1925 - 2006), the world-famous hunter of crocodiles is placed in the cellar of the castle. He has also been the prototype of the main character of the popular movie Crocodile Dundee. Dundaga Castle offers a comfortable and low-cost hotel’s services.