Culture of Ventspils. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

While walking in the city, it is easy to see many interesting architectural and natural landmarks, beautiful monuments and fountains, and visit interesting museums and galleries. One of the most famous landmarks of the region is located on a bank of the Venta River. It is Ventspils Castle that once belonged to the Livonian Order. The gorgeous building was finished more than eight centuries ago. The castle is the oldest building in the city. Actually, the city of Ventspils was formed around the castle. During its long history, the gorgeous fortress changed its purpose several times. For many years it was nothing but a prison. Nowadays, its gorgeous halls exhibit a priceless collection of the Museum of History.
Fans of outdoor activities should definitely visit the Jurmalas Park that is particularly popular with families. The park has various attractions, including quite unusual, such as the Jungle Path. This is a large complex of bridges and ropeways surrounded by exotic plants. Besides that, there is a museum in the park, several playgrounds for children, and other amusements.
The exhibition of the Jurmalas Museum includes an interesting collection of wooden sculptures created by local craftsmen in 2001. The museum’s opening ceremony took place at the same time with the Poplar Art festival. There is an interesting story connected with this name. Blooming poplars have caused much trouble to inhabitants of the city, so the tree is eliminated slowly in Ventspils, and local craftsmen use poplar wood to make beautiful sculptures and fairytale characters. Flower clock is one more important landmark of the city. Despite the fact that similar flower compositions are present in many European cities, the flower clock in Ventspils is definitely among the most attractive in the world. In spring, several thousand flowers are planted there, and in winter they are replaced with cold resistant plants. The diameter of the gorgeous flower clock is 5 meters. Copyright
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There is a bell tower with clock not far from the main city market. The bell tower has three clock faces that show different information: Latvia time, day of the week, and moon phase. There is also a small museum inside the bell tower, the exhibition of which is dedicated to old measuring devices. Guests of the city should also not forget to see the statue of Kr. Valdemārs, an outstanding figure of the 19th century. In 1864, one of the best schools in the city was opened under his guidance. Nowadays, the gorgeous bronze statue located not far from the gates reminds Ventspils locals about noble deeds of Valdemārs.
The attractive port city is also rich in religious landmarks, so travelers who like visiting and exploring old churches will definitely not be disappointed. Nicholas Evangelical Lutheran Church is, without a doubt, one of the most attractive churches in the city. Located in Rātslaukums, the magnificent building is like a magnet for all guests of Ventspils. There is quite an interesting story connected with the name of the church. Unlike many may think it was not named after St. Nicholas. The house of worship was named after Russian Tsar Nicholas II – he donated much money to the local Lutheran community and that helped to build the magnificent church.
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There is one more “St Nicholas” church in the city. It is St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church that was built somewhat later than the church mentioned above, in 1901. The religious landmark has the traditional onion-domed design and enjoys a fabulous location not far from the modern ferry pier. Of course, there are many other churches in the city, but travelers must be prepared to the fact that some of them might be closed for tourists on certain days because of masses, weddings, and other solemn events.
While in Ventspils, you can have an excellent walk. The best place for this is the area located along the Baltic Sea coast. Also, walking along the pier of Ventspils, you can stumble upon very interesting painted walls. They at once attract attention, adding a bit of romance to the walk. But aesthetic pleasure can also be gained by looking at departing and returning ships, and if you take a walk in the evening, you can witness the best views in the city.
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Beautiful views of the city, which can be seen like they were in the palm of your hand, can be viewed from Ovišu Bāka, which is a kind of “tower in the tower”. The lighthouse was founded in 1814, but it was rebuilt 30 years later, to give it a modern look. Here also, you will find a museum, where the exhibits related to the navigation of Latvia are showcased. The lighthouse in times past served a defensive purpose, but today this value has been lost, as the building is now only a reminder of this fact. Let us not forget of course that it is also a historical monument.
Ventspils Svētā Nikolaja Pareizticīgo Baznīca is an excellent religious monument. The church was built in the traditional Orthodox style and profitably stands out from other buildings. The white facade immediately attracts attention to itself, illustrating the majesty of the building and conveying the impression that it is definitely worthy of a visit. The church was built in 1901, and during the First World War, it was used by the German military as a stable. The icons that remained in the church were carefully preserved by the pastor of the Lutheran church, and after the war, they were given to the church (this was in 1920). This is the only Orthodox church (there were two of them in the city), which has restored its activity.
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We would also in a few words like to talk about the Ventspils Evaņģēliski Luteriskā Baznīca. This religious monument though looks unremarkable from the outside, conquers forever with her interior decoration. The church was built in 1835 in the style of “neoclassicism”. It is also interesting to visit the Ventspils Svētā Krusta Romas Katoļu Baznīca. The building is very beautiful from the outside and is associated with Roman buildings. It was built in 1898 on the site of a Catholic cemetery. Among some of the other sights of interest that are also located in the city are museums. In the Kurzeme Demo Center, children can enjoy interactive exhibits. On the other hand, in Amatu māja, you can look at handmade products and learn a lot about the traditional folk craft of the locals.
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Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Ventspils
♥   Palace 'Cīrava Palace' , 73.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Ventspils

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