Explore the Hanseatic city Koknese

Koknese is situated in the heart of Latvia. Administratively it belongs to the Zemgale region, historically to Vidzeme (Livonia). At the beginning of the 13th century the Livonian Brothers of the Sword built a fortified castle at the confluence of the Daugava and Perse rivers. Soon after merchants and craftsmen settled there and in 1277 Koknese (then Kokenhusen) was granted town privilege.

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Trade by land and water was flourishing and Koknese became a member of the Hanseatic League. In the 16th century reformation reached Koknese, and Ernst Glueck, who was the first to translate the bible into Latvian, worked as a pastor at the protestant church of Koknese built in 1687. Throughout history the lords of the castle changed on every occasion. As a result of those permanent armed conflicts the town was destroyed and rebuilt many times. During the Nordic war, the castle was blown up and has not been rebuilt ever after. The opening of the railway line connecting Riga and Daugavpils in 1861 lead to a cultural and economic rebirth of the town. More and more excursionists and summer visitors discovered the scenic environs of the town and intellectuals as well as artists as for example the famous Latvian writer Rudolfs Blaumanis took up residence here.

Today Koknese is a prospering municipality. Its inhabitants work in the timber industry and forestry, in the harvesting of peat, in stock breeding and in the building-trade. The place of the Mid-Daugava forest administration is also located in Koknese. There are a kindergarden, a secondary school, a school of music, 7 folk dance groups, 2 amateur theatre groups, 1 orchestra, 7 choirs, 1 acrobatics group, 1 modern dance group and 1 competition dancing group as well as a sports clubs. The events organised by the local cultural centre do not only attract Koknese citizens but tens of thousands of tourists annually as well.But not only theatre performances, open air concerts from classical music to the latest record releases and various folk performances draw visitors to Koknese. Here tourists enjoy an active holiday in an intact nature, go by boat on the scenic Daugava and Perse rivers and have a swim, enjoy challenging mountainbike tours, get to know the hearty and tasty Latvian cuisine, go fishing or hunting, relax in an Latvian-style sauna or have a medieval or traditional Latvian wedding party in the castle. Accommodation for tourists is provided in romantic wooden log houses which are typical for the Latvian countryside. Of course tents can be pitched by the riverside. There is no real Latvian country holiday without a barbecue, a campfire and a Latvian sauna followed by a swim in the river.

Pictures of the Hanseatic City of Koknese

Impressions of Koknese


Koknese tourism center
1905. gada street 7