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Dobele Castle Ruins
The Livonian Order's stone castle is the oldest building in Dobele, and a national scale architectural monument. It was built on the site of an ancient Semigallian timber fortress from 1335 to 1339. The castle was lived in until 1730. Works for the conservation of the ruins started in 2002.
The castle mound of ancient Semigallians and the ruins of the Livonian Order castle are located in Dobele, on the left bank of the river Bērze. This land hosted a settlement of Dobele's most ancient inhabitants – the Semigallians as early as 1000 years B.C. Surrounded by the ancient town, there stood a timber fortress, one of the administrative centres of ancient Semigallians. The castle has been mentioned several times in the Livonian Rhymed Chronicle telling about the 13th century battles between the locals and the German crusader knights.
Between 1279 and 1289, Dobele castle withstood six enemy attacks. In 1289, the Semigallians burnt down their fortress and left, undefeated, for Rakte in Lithuania.
From 1335 to 1347, in the place where the Semigallian fort once stood, the Livonian Order erected their stone castle; a church was built and a park was laid out later. Until 1562, the castle was headquarters for the chief of the garrison and also the Komtur, commander of the district. During the period of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, several commanders were in charge of the castle, the last one being Christoph Georg von Ofenberg. After 1729, the castle built by the Order was abandoned and gradually fell in ruins. Works for the conservation of the ruins started were launched in 2002.