Theme Week Latvia – Ventspils

Tuesday, 24 May 2022 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Ventspils Lighthouse © Algirdas/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ventspils Lighthouse © Algirdas/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ventspils is a city in northwestern Latvia in the historical Courland region of Latvia, and is the sixth largest city in the country. At the beginning of 2020, Ventspils had a population of 33,906. It is situated on the Venta River and the Baltic Sea, and has an ice-free port. The city’s name literally means “castle on the Venta”, referring to the Livonian Order’s castle built alongside the Venta River.

Ventspils developed around the Livonian Order Ventspils Castle, built along the Venta River. It was chartered in 1314 and became an important mercantile city of the Hanseatic League. As part of the Duchy of Courland, Ventspils blossomed as a shipbuilding centre. 44 warships and 79 trading ships were built in the town, and it was from Ventspils that the Duke’s fleet set out to colonize Gambia and Tobago. Metal, amber, and wood-working shops also became important to the city’s development. During the Polish-Swedish War and the Great Northern War, Ventspils was destroyed, and in 1711 a plague wiped out most of the remaining inhabitants. After the Third Partition of Poland in 1795 Ventspils fell under the control of Russian Empire. It was not until about 1850 that shipbuilding and trade became important again. The port was modernized in the 1890s and connected to Moscow by rail. It became one of Imperial Russia’s most profitable ports, by 1913 turning a yearly profit of 130 million rubles. The population soared as well, growing from 7,000 in 1897, to 29,000 in 1913. During the German occupation from 1915 to 1919, the population decreased almost by half, though some returned home during the First Republic of Latvia (1918–1940). In 1939, the Red Army established a base in Ventspils. Under Soviet rule, an oil pipeline was built to Ventspils, and became the USSR’s leading port in crude oil export. Thirty kilometres (19 miles) north of Ventspils is the ex-Soviet radioastronomy installation VIRAC (Ventspils Starptautiskais radioastronomijas centrs or Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre). The existence of the Centrs was unknown to most Latvians until 1994. After independence, the Latvian government began a city-beautification process to make the city more attractive to tourists. In 2004, Ventspils was a host city for a multi-national (United States, United Kingdom, Poland, Sweden, Russia, Latvia, Denmark, Finland, Norway) naval exercise called Baltic Operations XXXIII (BALTOPS). The force was led by the guided missile cruiser USS Anzio and the destroyer USS Cole. The US vessels were the first American warships to visit the port of Ventspils since Latvian independence was declared.

Ventspils is situated at the mouth of the Venta River, where it empties into the Baltic Sea, and is an important ice-free port. Large amounts of oil and other mineral resources from Russia are loaded aboard ships at Ventspils. Ventspils Airport, one of the three international airports in Latvia, is located in the city. Ventspils High Technology Park provides infrastructure and services to IT and electronics companies.

Nicholas Lutheran church © Vaido Otsar/cc-by-sa-4.0 Creative House © Ymblanter/cc-by-sa-4.0 © panoramio.com - Romāns Kolduns/cc-by-3.0 © Scotch Mist/cc-by-sa-4.0 Ventspils Castle © Algirdas/cc-by-sa-3.0 Ventspils Lighthouse © Algirdas/cc-by-sa-3.0
<
>
Nicholas Lutheran church © Vaido Otsar/cc-by-sa-4.0
Every winter Ventspils hosts the awarding ceremony of the Latvian Radio broadcast Musical Bank and the televised national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. On the second weekend of July the Sea Festival takes place, and on the first weekend of August there is an annual city festival. Festivals Ghetto games and Vakara pastaiga are popular. There are several institutions taking responsibility for the cultural life of Ventspils, including:

  • The Theatre House “Juras varti” presents professional performing arts of various genres.
  • The Ventspils Museum is engaged in the research and the recording of the history of Ventspils. It writes the Ventspils City Chronicle, builds up the collections of the museum and carries out scientific work.
  • The Ventspils Library is a municipal, cultural, educational, and information institution.
  • The International Writers and Translators’ House is an international centre for writers and translators.

Ventspils developed rapidly as a commercial harbour in the years of growth of Duchy of Courland and Semigallia. The most active building works took place in the vicinity of the present Market Square where a number of former storehouses from the 17th century are preserved. A dwelling house at the crossing of Tirgus and Skolas Streets is one of the oldest houses of such type in Latvia (built in 1646). Next to the Market Square, in a historical school building on Skolas street, there is the Ventspils House of the Crafts (2007). The International Writers’ and Translators’ House (2006) was opened on the premises of the former City Hall (1850), on the City-Hall Square. The building is reconstructed to accommodate creative work and everyday needs of its writers. Located next to it are the recently renovated Ventspils Central Library (2006) and Evangelic-Lutheran Church of Nicholas (1835). The City-Hall Square, the Market Square and the Ostas Street Promenade are popular walking places.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Ventspils, latvia.travel – Ventspils, Wikivoyage Ventspils and Wikipedia Ventspils. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

The Malbork Castle

The Malbork Castle

[caption id="attachment_160465" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © DerHexer / Carschten[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Castle in Malbork is the largest castle in the world by area. It was built in Prussia by the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholic religious order of crusaders, in a form of an Ordensburg fortress. The Order named it Marienburg (Mary's Castle). The town which grew around it was also named Marienburg. The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress, and on its completion in 1406 was the world's largest...

[ read more ]

Hotel Adlon in Berlin

Hotel Adlon in Berlin

[caption id="attachment_192214" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Denis Apel/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is a luxury hotel in Berlin. It is located on Unter den Linden, the main boulevard in the central Mitte district, at the corner with Pariser Platz, directly opposite the Brandenburg Gate. The original Hotel Adlon was one of the most famous hotels in Europe. It opened in 1907 and was largely destroyed in 1945 in the closing days of World War II, though a small wing continued operat...

[ read more ]

Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean

Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean

[caption id="attachment_233491" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Marina Taina in Pape'ete © Remi Jouan/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Tahiti (previously also known as Otaheite) is the largest island of the Windward group of the Society Islands in French Polynesia. It is located in the central part of the Pacific Ocean and the nearest major landmass is Australia. Divided into two parts, Tahiti Nui (bigger, northwestern part) and Tahiti Iti (smaller, southeastern part), the island was formed from volcanic activity; it is ...

[ read more ]

Dinant in Belgium

Dinant in Belgium

[caption id="attachment_208175" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © flickr.com - Andrew J.Kurbiko/cc-by-sa-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Dinant is a Walloon city and municipality located on the River Meuse, in the Belgian province of Namur. It lies 90 kilometres (56 mi) south-east of Brussels, 30 kilometres (19 mi) south-east of Charleroi and 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Namur. Dinant is situated 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the border with France. Dinant is positioned in the Upper Meuse valley, at a point where the ...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Dubai - The Dubai Marina

Theme Week Dubai - The Dubai Marina

[caption id="attachment_25162" align="aligncenter" width="590"] View from the Torch - 64th floor © Matteoserena/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Dubai Marina is a district in Dubai. Dubai Marina is an artificial canal city, built along a two mile (3 km) stretch of Persian Gulf shoreline. When the entire development is complete, it will accommodate more than 120,000 people in residential towers and villas. It is located on Interchange 5 between Jebel Ali Port and the area which hosts Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, ...

[ read more ]

The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea

[caption id="attachment_152790" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Pete/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east, Palestine to the west and north-west, and Israel to the south-west and south. Its surface and shores are 429 metres (1,407 ft) below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea is 304 m (997 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With 34.2% salinity (in 2011), it is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of...

[ read more ]

Lambeth Palace in London

Lambeth Palace in London

[caption id="attachment_237184" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Lambeth Palace from the herb garden © geograph.org.uk - Marathon/cc-by-sa-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Lambeth Palace is the official London residence of the archbishop of Canterbury. It is situated in north Lambeth, London, on the south bank of the River Thames, 400 yards (370 metres) south-east of the Palace of Westminster, which houses Parliament, on the opposite bank. While the original residence of the archbishop of Canterbury was in his episcopal se...

[ read more ]

Calw in the Black Forest

Calw in the Black Forest

[caption id="attachment_160967" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Market Square © Softeis[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Calw is a town in the middle of Baden-Württemberg in the south of Germany, capital of the district Calw. It is located in the northern Black Forest and is approximately 18 kilometers south of Pforzheim and 33 kilometers west of Stuttgart. Calw was first mentioned in records in 1075. In the 11th century the town grew around the older castle of the Grafen (Earls) of Calw. In the Middle Ages Calw was an impor...

[ read more ]

Swallow's Nest in Crimea

Swallow's Nest in Crimea

[caption id="attachment_230028" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © flickr.com - Иерей Максим Массалитин/cc-by-sa-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Swallow's Nest is a decorative castle located at Gaspra, a small spa town between Yalta and Alupka, in the Crimean Peninsula. It was built between 1911 and 1912, on top of the 40-metre (130 ft) high Aurora Cliff, in a Neo-Gothic design by the Russian architect Leonid Sherwood for the Baltic German businessman Baron von Steingel. The castle overlooks the ...

[ read more ]

Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac

Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac

[caption id="attachment_25135" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Chateau Lafite © Ken Case[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Château Lafite Rothschild Château Lafite-Rothschild and Château Mouton Rothschild are legendary wine estates located in the village of Pauillac in the Médoc, 50 km (30 mi) north-west of the city of Bordeaux. Their red wines of the same names are regarded as one of the world's greatest clarets. Château Lafite-Rothschild was the property of Gombaud de Lafite in 1234. In the 17th century, the property of Châte...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
Nieuwpoort on Yser river © Marc Ryckaert/cc-by-3.0
Nieuwpoort in West Flanders

Nieuwpoort is a municipality located in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium, and in the Flemish province of...

Historic centre of Riga, an UNESCO World Heritage Site © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-3.0
Theme Week Latvia

Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is one of...

© Jacklee/cc-by-sa-4.0
Keong Saik Road in Singapore

Keong Saik Road is a one-way road located in Chinatown within the Outram Planning Area in Singapore. The road links...

Schließen