Daugavpils

Daugavpils is the second largest city in Latvia, established in southeastern Latvia on the banks of Daugava river. Daugavpils is called Latvian Russian city as 52,3% of all 104.000 population are Russians and just 17,7% - Latvians. The rest of population consist of Poles - 4,5% , Byelorussians - 7,7%, Ukrainians - 2,1%, Lithuanians   1,0% and others - 4,7%. Daugavpils and its district are situated in picturesque hilly corner of wild and pure nature. Although this old industrial city is not that progressed as Latvian capital Riga, every year it is making a headway in the increase of variety of services and modernization of existing ones.

History

The long and rich history of Daugavpils began in 1275 with construction of the stone Dinaburga Castle, about 20 km up the Daugava River from nowadays Daugavpils city. Perfect location for trading between east and west; north and south didn’t let Daugavpils to develop easily and constantly. Polish, Sweden and Russian governments’ efforts to rule the city as an essential trade junction demanded a lot of victims and destructions.

Daugavpils was under siege of enemies for centuries-long. Until dissolution of Livonian Order in 1561, The Great Duchy of Lithuania and Russian troops several times tried to annex Dinaburga castle and its district. In 1566 Dinaburga was seized by Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and became a centre of Inflantijas Voivodship. In 1577 marching troops of Ivan The Terrible totally destroyed Dinaburga castle that afterwards was never rebuilt again. Restoration of Dinaburga city was started in a distance of about 19 kilometres from the old castle down stream of Daugava River where Daugavpils is now situated. After five years, Dinaburga was returned to Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and construction works of new Dinaburga castle and its fortification were started. During the ruling of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Dinaburga city received Magdeburg rights and opened the first Jesuit school in Latgale region. After the Russian-Sweden war in 17th century, Dinaburga, for the period of 11 year (from 1656 until 1667), was occupied by Russia and within this time-period was renamed Borisoglebska. Dinaburga was returned to Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1667 and remained in its authority until the Great Northern War after which Dinaburga was annexed by Russian Empire and later renamed Dvinska. Though after the Northern War the town was burnt down, reconstruction and construction works were started soon after Dvinskas` incorporation into Russian Empire.  On the second half of 19th century, Dvinska became a major industrial city. Convenient railway road junction with Railway Bridge was built between Daugavpils and other trading cities of Russian Empire: St. Petersburg, Riga, Warsaw, Orlu and Crosses. At the turn of 19th and 20th centuries Dvinska had more than 60 enterprises of which the largest ones were the railway workshop, leather, match and button factories. Development of the city suspended WWI and WWII attacks. During WWI industrial grow of Dvinska was disrupted. In independent Latvia (1918) the city was developing slowly as population of Dvinsk decreased almost five times after evacuation of people into central Russia. In 1920 city got its nowadays name – Daugavpils – The Castle on Daugava. WWII left a deep scarf in Daugavpils history as during German and Soviet Union Occupations there were thousands of people, including 11.000 of Jews that consisted 25% of city population, murdered in Daugavpils and its district or deported into Soviet Union. After WWII, Latvia fell under the power of Soviet Union. Daugavpils district was expanded adding surrounding smaller cities. Many industrial developments and building constructions were made in order to raise Daugavpils economical and social life.

Nowadays

Daugavpils until nowadays remained an industrial city with the significant railroad junction. Daugavpils train station is the so-called East-West rail corridor that connects Europe and Asia regions with Riga, Liepaja and Vestspils ports. In this industrial city there are several large metal companies and a very well developed food industry. Along large, there are operating medium and small business sectors that are improving and extending their area of business not just locally but also internationally. Daugavpils gives a great opportunity to get the high degree in the second largest University in Latvia.
For centuries different governments ruled Daugavpils, therefore there are many Soviet, Polish and German historical and cultural heritages and monuments spread along the city and it surroundings. To explore steps of Daugavpils city history it’s not going to be enough just to walk far and wide historical centre of Daugavpils city. It’s essential to visit Daugavpils local history and art museum, Daugavpils fortress, Jews mascara place in Pogulanka forest and drive about 18 km upstream of Daugava River where you’ll get to former Dinaburga castle place with an accurate model of former castle and historic museum of Latgale region.

As one of worth to see places there should be mentioned the area of four Churches on Novembra street: Virgin Mary Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Martin Luther Cathedral, spectacular Holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb Orthodox Cathedral and St. Nicholas Orthodox prayer house. There as just on the other side of the bridge of this saint rectangular the Daugavpils prison called the ”White swan” is located.

Daugavpils can also rejoice music lovers as the city holds several music festivals like international Jazz festival “Jazz Joy Spring”, “Sacred music festival” that are held every two years and an annual International “Accordion music festival”. For sure, there are several music nightclubs and bars where Daugavpils people can enjoy drinks either in quite romantic place either on the loud dancing floor.

Situated in beautiful green hilly surroundings, Daugavpils attracts many tourists all year long. Coming to Daugavpils you will feel that easy life without real stress is flowing here in the fresh air.

 

Location
Javascript is required to view this map.