The Castle of the Livonian Order, which houses Ventspils Museum since September 2001, is the oldest preserved building in Ventspils, built in the second half of the 13th century (first mentioned in 1290).

The castle was built as a convent-house type building with an inner yard and can be regarded as the oldest medieval fortress in Latvia to have retained its original form virtually unchanged.

Indeed, after visiting a couple of Livonian Order Castle Ruins (Dobele Castle RuinsLivonian Order Castle Ruins at Aizpute) Ventspils castle is a rare exemption of a surviving castle in the territory of modern Latvia.

Back in Summer 2017, I spent a short visit to Ventspils and visited both this castle and some exhibition at castle's museum.

Venstpils Livonian Order Castle

Ventspils Livonian Order Castle

The castle chapel is the oldest preserved church building in the region of Kurzeme. In the 13th–16th century the castle was used by the brothers of the Livonian Order, later there was an Evangelical Lutheran church in the castle (1706–1835), a Russian Orthodox church (1845–1901) and also a prison (1832–1959).

A cannon

A cannon

If you are into military heritage - Ventspils Livonian Order castle has a lot to tell.

Taxidermy elephant head

Taxidermy elephant head

I was told that it's from a real elephant. Though it's hard to believe, but according to the told me at the museum some noblemen have taken it here about a century ago. 

The inner yard at Venstpils Livonian Castle order reminded me a lot of scenery at Salvador Dali museum in Figueres, Spain. An elephant head made it look very surreal at the time I visited this place.

The castle has housed various administrative institutions and army units. The Soviet garrison left the castle in 1983. In 1997 the castle facades were restored and the area around it improved. In the course of study and restoration work, unique 15th– 17th-century mural fragments were discovered under several layers of plaster, and much evidence concerning the castle and its inhabitants was obtained during archaeological excavation.

Room with portraits of Russian Tsars

Room with portraits of Russian Tsars

The museum regularly sees temporary exhibitions on art and history, as well as concerts and other events that enrich the city’s cultural life.

Location & Map
Jāņa iela 17 LV-3601 Latvia
Coordinates: 57.396133 21.558709
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