The museum building known by its historic name Academia Petrina, was built in 1775 on the initiative of Peter Biron, the last Duke of Courland and Semigallia, on the site of the former ducal mansion in the city, and once hosted the first university in Latvia. The author of the reconstruction design project is architect S. Jensens.

Art museum

The museum's exposition tells a story of the political, economic and cultural life in the city and district of Jelgava from the most distant past to modern days, with a special focus on Jelgava, the city reduced to ruins during World War II, the city once known in Europe as the capital of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, and later - as that of the Courland Governorate and Zemgale region.

The biggest treasure in the museum holdings is the collection of the works by Ģederts Eliass (1887-1975), an old master of Latvian painting, and a part of the collection can be viewed as a permanent exposition. When in the museum's yard, visitors will feel like transferred back in time to 1840s, because everything – both the decorative fencing and the driveway - has been restored to look like in those days.

The museum offers a new educational programme and excursions for different age groups.

Educational programs

Jelgava - My City

(pre-school and younger classes).

The lesson strengthens the understanding of own country, city, its symbols, nature and raises the sense of belonging to the hometown.

Learning to learn

(calligraphy, for class 5 and older pupils, also suitable for adults, up to 10 people)

Participants can acquire calligraphic skills under the supervision of the museum artist.

We - Restorers

(pre-school and younger classes).

Objectives of the lesson - raising the awareness of the ethnic grounds trough museum pedagogy. During the lesson pupils get acquainted with the exhibits and gain understanding of the restorers' works. The second part of the lesson - creative work includes making copies of archaeological jewelry.

Elections in Jelgava at the beginning of the 20th century

(class 7 and older pupils and adults).

The lesson provides more information on the municipal elections that took place at the beginning of the 20th century, and the participants themselves can play the elections of 1901, trying out different roles.


  • Price of each lesson - € 1.50 per person, €  1.00 school-age children
  • Lessons to be arranged in advance.


In-depth excursions containing interactive elements suitable for different age groups:

Life and work of Ģederts Eliass

Jelgava - the capital of Duchy of Courland and Semigallia

Academia Petrina - the first university in the territory of Latvia

Cash only


Akadēmijas iela 10, Jelgava
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Akadēmijas iela 10, Jelgava
+371 63023383

Working hours:


Tuesday - Sunday
10:00 - 18:00
Tuesday - Sunday
10:00 - 17:00