Bauska has prepared many interesting attractions for its guests. This is a charming town situated approximately 70 kilometers from Riga and not far from the border with Lithuania. The peaceful settlement never ceases to attract tourists with its exceptional natural beauty. Bauska is also famous for its interesting history that is intertwined with important personalities from the Russian Empire. There are still many mansions of former aristocratic families not far from the town, and gorgeous landscapes still remember great wars of the 16th-19th centuries.
According to historical data, first settlements in the territory of modern Bauska existed long before the 15th century. However, there are not many records left, and the information that we have now is very incomplete. Local settlements started developing actively in the mid-15th century. This is the time when a castle of the Livonian Order was built near the town. According to historic records, a settlement named Schildburg grew in this area. However, Gotthard von Kettler ordered to destroy the settlement and build a new town on its site.
What can tourists see in Bauska? The Rundale Palace is, perhaps, the most famous landmark in the region. The gorgeous baroque building is situated in Pilsrundale, 12 km west of Bauska. The building works started in 1736 and lasted more than 30 years. The beautiful palace had dark pages in its history. First, Napoleon’s troops inflicted much damage to the beautiful building, and then soldiers of Bermondt-Avalov were a threat to the gracious building. However, the palace survived, and even World War II couldn’t destroy the complex. Nowadays, tourists are welcome to explore the palace and step into its halls, many of which are under reconstruction.
There is an incredibly beautiful park around the palace. The park shares its name with the building. This is a unique and interesting landscaped piece of paradise on earth. The park occupies a territory of more than 60 hectares. Visitors can walk along shadowy alleys, admire fancy fountains, and breathe in the smell of linden trees if you visit the park during the period of blooming. Besides old linden trees, there are many tall chestnuts and centuries-old oaks. When you step onto the park’s territory, you will feel how romantic this place is.
The Bauska Local History and Art Museum is another attraction that is definitely worth visiting. It is open in the building of a former hotel. The exhibition includes photographs of different items that cast the light upon the lifestyle in Bauska in the 20th century. Besides this, guests of the town have an opportunity to see a collection of old toys and dolls presented by Tamara Chudnovskaya.
There is an interesting exhibition dedicated to the lives of Germans and Jews in Bauska. Other floors of the building display different art exhibitions. The museum has an unusual layout – there are streets inside the building. Visitors can see an old hair salon of the previous century, a forgery, and a photo studio that displays photographs and methods of photography used in the previous centuries.
Are you passionate about theater? In this case, you will find it interesting to see the performances of local actors in the town’s theater. The folk theater is a group of amateur actors who always try to please their guests with new plays. As all actors are non-professionals and have different jobs in their everyday lives, it is interesting to see these performances. Actors in this theater have rehearsals only during their free time. Despite this, the theater is very popular in Bauska and these amateur performances always attract many viewers. The repertoire is very different and includes many genres.
In order to get to Bauska, to this miraculous world of different landmarks and architectural wonders, you need to get to Riga first, choosing the method which is most convenient for you. From the country’s capital, it is easy to get to Bauska by car or bus. The ride lasts approximately one hour. The city’s authorities make sure that tourists can travel comfortably between these settlements, so buses to Bauska depart from Riga every hour.