Daugavpils, the second largest city in Latvia and the largest city of Latgale region.Understand : City was founded by Livonian Knights at the important intersection of medieval trade routes in 1275. The name can be translated as Daugava Castle, this applies to any other version of the name in other languages, as the River Daugava is called differently in some other countries. Original Livonian castle has been attacked, destroyed and rebuilt multiple times until 1577, when Ivan the Terrible after two weeks of siege captured the castle and destroyed it to the ground. The construction of a new fortress 19km downstream of Daugava river has been ordered by Tzar. This new fortress was completely destroyed during the great Northern War in c. 1720.By that time Latgale was part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, however after the 1st partition of the Commonwealth in 1772 the region went to Russian Empire and remained so until 1918. The city during that period was called Dinaburg.
The Dinaburg Fortress, now known as Daugavpils Fortress, was started to construct in 1810 and completed in 1878. It was one of the biggest and most important fortifications of Russian Empire, built as a fortified ideal city, gradually strengthened and improved almost until 1914 when the WWI has begun. Later it was used for various military purposes by all governments until 1993, when Russia’s troops left Latvia’s territory. The fortress was not destroyed during the wars or significantly changed, it remains the only well-preserved this type of fortress in Eastern Europe and the last bastion-type fortress in the World.
Now Daugavpils offers modern conveniences and services. Over the last decade an ice-hall, bowling center and modern hotels have been built in Daugavpils and diverse entertainment options have appeared throughout the city.
Access : Coordinates: 55.875, 26.535556 / By air : The closest air port is in capital city Riga, from there one have to take a land transport to the south east. The future project Daugavpils Airport (Daugavpils Lidosta) 12km northeast of the city is being converted from the former soviet air force base and rebuild to become one of the major airports in Latvia. It is planed to be open in the near future, meanwhile the City Council consider to sell it.
By train :
Valsts akciju sabiedriba “Latvijas dzelzcels” (Latvian Train Service) operates Riga-Daugavpils route four times a day; Riga-Gomel, and Russia trains also operate. Daugavpils should also receive a route to Vilnius, Lithuania, sometime between December 2017 and Q1, 2018.
By bus : Rigas Starptautiska autoosta (Riga Bus Station). Buses from Riga to Daugavpils leave every two hours. By car : The drive from Riga takes 3-3 1/2 hours. There is an international highway named E262 from Kaunas, Lithuania that crosses Daugavpils and goes to Russia.
Attractions : Rigas iela is the main pedestrian mall which starts directly across the street from the main entrance of the railway station. 19th century architecture in the center between the Daugava River and the railway station.
Daugavpils fortress (Daugavpils cietoksnis), Nikolaja St 5 . It has withstood many wars and remains virtually unchanged since its construction in the 19th century
The historical center of the city consisted of 80 cultural-historical objects presents itself a specific monument of urban construction. One may be amazed by variety of architecture styles of the buildings, the red clay bricked facades of peculiar form recognized as Latgale baroque.
The church ensemble Jaunbuve, the Church Hill included churches of four confessions, contributes a lot to the very special panorama of the city of Daugavpils.
Daugavpils may also be proud of its sport complex. Ice Hall and the open-air swimming pool, one of the biggest open-air swimming pools in the Baltic countries, are the real pride of the city.
Daugavpils is more endowed with water space than other cities of Latvia. There are 15 lakes, 8 rivers and numerous brooks its territory. In spite of this the climate is the most continental of the country. Forests and parks make up the green area with a square of approximately 10 400 ha.
Major Town Building Landmarks : The Daugava protecting dam, which stretches 6 km along the river and at its highest points reaches 9 m, is another singular landmark of the city./ Daugavpils present-day center and its street network started shaping in the early 19th century./ Arts and History Museum, has preserved its original architecture almost unaltered. The house was built in the second half of the 19th century. It decoration of colorful glazed files is extremely original. All entrances to the house have small glass-covered open-work metal roofs /
Vienibas nams (Unity House), designed in plain architectonic forms: prisms and cubes. The many halls and rooms of this building house a theater /
Monuments and Memorial Places : The most significant events in Daugavpils history are immortalized in various monuments and memorial places. The soldiers killed in Word War I are buried in Old Believers, Orthodox and Lutheran cemeteries. The Latvian army soldiers, killed in fights for freedom, are buried in the Lutheran cemetery. Their graves there as well as the Polish army soldier’ graves in Satiksmes iela testify to the events relating to history of the independent Latvian state. A 13 m tall reinforced concrete cross has been erected in Satiksmes iela to commemorate the events. A memorial stone to the citizens of Daugavpils, deported to Siberia in 1941 and 1945, is erected in Pumpura Park. The burial places of the Soviet and German soldiers in Dubrovin’s park, in the Garrison cemetery, in the Griva, Communal and Orthodox cemeteries as well as the graves of the victims of fascism in the Mezciems cemetery are memorial places to those who were killed in World War II.
Activities : The northeast part of the city, Stropi, is a popular recreational area located near the Big Stropu Lake (Lielais Stropu ezers).
The Daugavpils Musical and Drama Theater located in the Unity House (1937) in the city center.
Did you know that Daugavpils has a race track ‘Daugavpils Spidveja centr’ on Jelgavas iela 54. So go check out some races.
Want to go skating? Daugavpils has an amazing Ice hall – Ledus Halle on Stacijas iela 45a.
But if you want to go bowling or shoot some pool, go to City Center on Viestura iela 8.
You can also walk on the Daugavpils main street Rigas iela. It is amazing.
Visit a lot of traditional saunas:
Finally just take a walk around the city and you will see a lots of amazing and beautiful things.
Go next : Latgale region / Lithuania / Belarus/ and-or Russia