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Rēzekne is located at an international crossroads, with routes to Riga (242km), Moscow (685km), St Petersburg (450km), and Warsaw (860km). The River Rēzekne flows through the city for a total of ten kilometres, and Lake Kovšu (covering 22ha) lies at the centre of it. Rēzekne is known as the city of seven hills. The city’s footprint covers 17.48km2 (with green areas and water accounting for 16% of this). It has a population of 29,948 (2014).
Ancient and modern Rēzekne
Rēzekne has been inhabited since the ancient Latgalian wooden castle stood on a hill by the river from the ninth century until the thirteen century. The name Rēzekne was first documented in 1285 (in the German language as Rositten). However, the current version of the city’s name, Rēzekne, was approved in 1920.
After the war, Rēzekne developed as an important industrial city. In 1957, the ‘Rēzekne Dairy Processing Plant’ was built, and its products, especially its condensed milk, were known around the world. In 1962, ‘Rēzekne Milking Equipment Factory’ was built, and this was followed in 1971 by the ‘Rēzekne Electrical Building Equipment Plant’ (REBIR), and others. During the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century, various new enterprises were established, including the Rēzekne Meat Factory, and the corn processing company, ‘Rēzeknes dzirnavnieks’, and more.
When Latvia regained its independence in 1991, Rēzekne became the centre of Latgalian cultural activities and today is the centre of the Latgale Catholic clergy, as well as culture and education, a city in which several languages and nationalities coexist.
- The Embassy of Latgale, ‘GORS’. One of the best places for acoustic concerts in the Baltics. GORS is buzzing with concerts, theatre performances, art exhibitions, films, seminars, and conferences, and it also has a restaurant for enjoying the pleasures of life and a playroom for children.
- ‘ZEIMUĻS’ Centre of Creative Services of Eastern Latvia. The building has one of the largest green roofs in the Baltic States. Visually, the building’s towers remind one of two pencils, decorated with Latvian ornaments. Hobby and non-formal educational classes for children and young people are held in ‘Zeimuļs’.
- Rēzekne castle mound and castle ruins. The castle ruins are the oldest historical monument in Latgale. Between the ninth and twelfth centuries, an ancient Latgalian wooden castle stood on the hill by the river and a settlement grew up near it. According to legend, Princess Rose dwells in the castle’s underground areas, waiting for her release from a spell.
- ‘Vienoti Latvijai’ monument. The monument of Latgalian liberation (known also as ‘Latgales Māra’) is the symbol of Rēzekne. It was dedicated to the freedom fighting that took place in 1920, and reflects the idea of the nation’s efforts in building and defending its Latvia.
- Latgale Culture and History Museum. Visitors can learn more about the history of the city, enjoy a variety of art exhibitions, and an exposition on Latgalian ceramics, and engage in creative activities. In the square by the museum, one can take a moment to admire Antons Kūkojs (1940-2007), the famous Latgalian poet, artist, actor and director.
Events and activities
We invite you to visit us in:
- April - Latgale Pottery Days with demonstrations in the ceramic workshops and meetings with the master craftsmen, witnessing the heating of the ceramic kilns and their opening
- May - the contemporary art and music festival, ‘SevenHills’, in which everyone can enjoy alternative music concerts, art performances, and the activities of Museum Night
- June - a public celebration of the Midsummer festival which lasts until dawn
- July - an ethno-festival called ‘GOSTI’ which brings together both local collectives of multiple nationalities and those of neighbouring countries
- August - Rēzekne city festival
- September - Baroque Music Days, and the ‘Step by Step’ theatre festival
- November - the ‘Breathe in Rēzekne!’ national run and the traditional Latgalian art exhibition, ‘Autumn’, which is dedicated to the national holiday
- Throughout the year there are concerts, theatre performances, art exhibitions, creative classes, and fairs.
You can easily get to Rēzekne by car, bus and train. Direct bus connections to Rēzekne are available from Riga, Daugavpils, Vilnius, Moscow, St Petersburg, etc. Direct rail connections to Rēzekne are available from Riga, Vilnius, Moscow, and St Petersburg.