Nature and history have created Kuldiga as one of the most beautiful towns of Latvia. The echoes of Livonian chronicles narrate that the castle of the Order was built in Kuldiga during the reign of Dietrich Von Grüningen, the grand master of Livonian Order (1242-1245). At the beginning the castle was called Jesusburg later Goldingen. This name can be read in the documents written before the free state was formed and it still exists in the lexis of the ancient White-German emigrants. Since 1368 Kuldiga has been a member of the Hanseatic League. Since 1991, when the independence was restored in Latvia, Kuldiga has taken part in modern Hanseatic days. After collapsing of Livonian Order in 1561 Kuldiga became the residence of Duke Jakob and from 1587 till 1671 it was the capital of Kurland. Duke Jakob Ketler, who was born in Kuldiga, had the old castle of the Order rebuilt considering his demands, it was modern according to the understanding of those times. During the reign of Duke Jakob the Duchy of Kurland and Kuldiga experienced the economic boom – a ship building factory, a saltpetre mill and brick-kilns, etc. were opened. Kuldiga had trade connections with many countries. During the time of the Duchy of Kurland Kuldiga suffered both from wars and plundering. From 1653 till 1667 there was the Polish – Swedish War and from 1700 till 1721 there was the Great Northern war. Kuldiga suffered severely during the Great Plague, too, and it did not regain its former prosperity. By the end of the 18th century (1795) the Duchy of Kurland was incorporated into Russian Empire and Kuldiga became a provincial centre. In the closing decades of the 19th century crafts and manufacturing started to flourish. The biggest factories were Meteors, a needle factory, a leather factory and Vulkâns, a safety matches factory. The number of inhabitants increased.

In 1886 the Baltic Teachers Seminary was moved from Riga to Kuldiga, and in 1896 the first social democratic group was formed. In the days of the revolution in 1905 the students of the Baltic Teachers Seminary were the first to start the strike, later they were joined by workers of the town and peasants from surrounding estates. The revolutionaries were punished by punitive expeditions. Already during the time of the Order Kuldiga had its own seal featuring the figure of St Catherine holding a torture wheel with six spikes in one hand and a sword in the other one. In the medieval time St Catherine was considered to be a teologyst, a philosopher, a lawyer and a defender of students. Kuldiga has been able to retain its Saint patroness in the Coat-of-Arms throughout the years until now. 

For every single visitor it will be interesting to see the old town that is rich in traditions of history and culture. The historical centre of Kuldiga is an architecture monument with original buildings, narrow streets and tiled roofs. People of Kuldiga are very proud of their fascinating Waterfall Rumba – the widest waterfall in Europe (240m). The highest waterfall in Latvia on the River Alekðupîte (4,5 m) is also situated here. One of the widest brick bridges in Europe has always attracted the visitors of Kuldiga. It was built in 1874 over the River Venta. Here you will feel the unique atmosphere of ancient times and see the charm of a Latvian town which is unlike any other place in Latvia.

Impressions of Kuldiga

Kuldiga

Stadt Kuldiga
Baznicas lela 1
300 Kuldiga/Lettland
z. Hd. Frau Tereza Strauta