Varakļāni Palace

Updated: 16 August, 2022 seen 13

Varakļāni Palace is located in Varakļāni, in the historical region of Latgale, Latvia.

We visited this place shortly at the start of August 2022, during a weekend trip to Latgale. I was not sure what for to look in the area and just googled the top sightseeing objects in Varakļani and this place popped top on the list.

Varakļāni Palace
Varakļāni Palace

Just later I learned history of this place.

After the end of the Livonian War in 1583, the von der Borch family acquired the Vark castle district, it was called "Vark land" (German: Warkland , Warkelen). The palace was designed by the Italian architect Vincenzo Macotti at the request of the estate owner, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth diplomat Count Michael Johann von der Borch. Construction started in 1783 and was completed in 1789.

After the death of Count M. Borch in 1810, his wife, Eleonor Christine (1766-1844), and later their son, Charles Borch (1798-1861), whose daughter Mary married Pavel Roman Sangushko, operated the palace. Kovelski ( Sanguszko-Kowelski , 1834–1876). After his death, the manor was inherited by their daughter, Teresa Sanguško-Kovelskaya (1864-1954).

After Latvian Agrarian Reform in 1920s Varaklani Manor was nationalized and subdivided. From 1921 to 1944 the Varaklani State Gymnasium, later until 1961 the senior classes of Varaklani High School, operated in the castle. At the end of World War II the castle was a military hospital.

The building housed the Varakļāni secondary school from 1921 to 1960. In the mid-1980s the castle conservation works begin. At the entrance of the castle there is a memorial plaque for the linguist Leonard Latkovsky. Since 1997, the castle has housed the Varaklani Regional Museum, which since 2009 has been the Tourist Information Center.The palace and grounds are currently administered by the town of Varakļāni.