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Southern Latvia (Zemgale)

Zemgale is the name given to the area of southern Latvia stretching from south of Riga along the west bank of the River Daugava and down to the border with Lithuania. Its name derives from the Semigallian tribes which once occupied it before the arrival of the German crusaders in the 13th century.

  • Lielupe river near Mezotne
  • Mezotne palace
  • Koknese castle ruins
  • Photo: Artūrs Jasinskis
  • Rundale palace
  • Photo: Rundale palace archive
  • Ribbe mill
  • Koknese church
  • Tervete ancient history museum

Much of Zemgale is fertile farmland, making it Latvia’s pantry, and the drainage which made the land suitable for agriculture means that the region is criss-crossed with streams and rivers, many of them finding their way into the Gulf of Riga via the River Lielupe. Zemgale is divided into 20 smaller regions. The area is rich in castles, castle mounds, manor houses and palaces, the most spectacular of which is undoubtedly the lavish Rundāle Palace.

  • The Rundāle Palace is set amidst the fertile Zemgale Plains in the south of Latvia.
  • Bauska Castle is a typical example of the 15th-17th century military architecture in Latvia. The castle is located in the Town of Bauska, amidst...
  • Reserve your afternoon to sink into the world of fantasies.  Breathe the fresh air of a pine forest. Look into the dark sky at night to find...
  • The magnificent Jelgava Palace, which can be seen from the bridge across the Lielupe River. At present, the Latvia University of Agriculture is...
  • Pokaiņi Forest is an ancient, exceptionally powerful holy site with stone piles of various magnitude. It is a place of yet undiscovered secrets and...
  • Mežotne Palace is one of the brightest examples of classicism architecture in Latvia, and it is even more significant due to the carefully planned...
  • At present, Vecauce Castle houses a tourist and culture centre and a hotel; conferences, seminars, banquets and weddings are held here. The castle...
  • In 1209 bishop Albert ordered to replace an ancient Latvian wooden castle with a castle of stone. In 1701, during the Northern War, the castle was...
  • The "Bauskas Alus" brewery was founded in 1981. The plant was originally part of a company jointly owned by collective farms, and...
  • Jelgavas Svētās Trīsvienības baznīcas tornis
    The historical record of 1522 testifies that there was a small wooden church in the place of the current tower of the Holy Trinity Church. In 1574...