LATVIA is one of the European Union member states and situated in the North of Europe. The capital of Latvia is Riga. There are four historical regions in Latvia – Latgale, Vidzeme, Kurzeme and Zemgale.
Latgale is a cultural and historic region of Latvia, located in the Eastern part of Latvia, near the borders of Russia, Belarus and Lithuania. Many of the inhabitants speak Latgalian language. Latgale cultural heritage represented by the outstanding architectural monuments – the cathedrals, the churches, public buildings, urban ensembles, as well as rural farmsteads, representative settlements and cultural landscapes. Cultural traditions of Latgalian language, folk songs, dances, crafts (especially pottery) form an important part of the Latvian national culture.
In Latgale, many prominent Latvian writers, poets, musicians and public figures have worked. Today’s active, rich, and diverse cultural life – those are festivals, concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions, art workshops and plenaries, representing Latgale as a region attractive for tourism.
For the first time in the scriptures, Rēzekne mentioned in 1285 and named as “Rositten”, but the rights of a county city Rēzekne granted in 1773.
Today Rēzekne is the cultural and educational centre of Latgale. It is a multinational city, where you can hear many languages, and different ethnic groups live friendly together here. Rēzekne known as The Heart of Latgale. In terms of cultural monuments, Rēzekne Region is one of the richest regions in Latvia. It is located in the highest upland hills of Latgale: the mountain Lielais Liepu kalns, Dubuļu Mountain, Dzerkaļu hill. In the region there are located the largest lakes in Latvia, Lake Rāzna and Lake Lubānas.
Beautiful places in Rēzekne:
The Monument “Vienoti Latvijai” (“United for Latvia”, often called as Latgale’s Māra) is the symbol of Rēzekne. Dedicated to the participants of the Latvian freedom fights of 1920, the monument reflects the idea of the nation’s efforts to build and protect their country. The monument has experienced some tragic turning points- it was opened using public donations on 8 September, 1939 (designed by Leons Tomašickis, sculptor Kārlis Jansons), in 1940, it was pulled down, in 1943, the monument was restored for the second time, but in 1950, the ruling power demolished it. In 1992, the monument was restored again (sculptor Andrejs Jansons).
Rēzekne Castle Hill and the Castle Ruins are the oldest historical monument in the city. From the 9th to the 12th century, the ancient Latgalian, wooden castle with an adjacent settlement were situated on the hill next to the river. In the 13th century, the German crusaders destroyed it and built the Livonian Order stone castle (Rositten). The castle was located in a strategically important place; therefore, the Russians, Lithuanians, Poles and Swedes were seeking to conquer it, until the castle was destroyed in the 17th century during the Polish-Swedish War. A legend tells that beneath the ruins, Princess Rose lives, and she is waiting to be freed from the spell. Visitors can still feel the ancient breath in the Rēzekne City Festival that takes place in August, when members of the history reconstruction club set up a medieval settlement on the castle hill. In summer, a model of the medieval castle can be seen opposite the castle hill (author Edmunds Smans).
The Creative centre “Zeimuļs” organizes interesting and non-formal education activities for children and youth. Visually, the building’s towers resemble two pencils, decorated with Latvian national ornaments; they offer a breathtaking view of the castle and the historic city centre. The building has one of the largest green roofs in the Baltic States. “Zeimuļs” is a place where the new, active and creative potential of the city meet.
Latgale Culture and History Museum is a meeting place for different generations, a place to gain positive emotions. Visitors can explore thoroughly the history of the city, enjoy a variety of art exhibitions and engage in creative workshops. The exhibition ‘Ceramics in Latgale’ reveals the development of ceramics from the very beginning of pottery in the Neolithic era until today, and visitors can touch, hear and feel the clay transformations themselves. School and high school students can acquire a variety of historical themes in exciting museum lectures called the “Museum Hours”, while the curious small guests are invited to celebrate their birthday at the museum. And don’t forget to smile at the famous Latgalian poet, artist, actor and film director, Antons Kūkojs (1940-2007). People say that if you touch the portfolio of the monument, your wishes will come true and you will be happy.
The Eastern Latvian Concert Hall /The Embassy of Latgale GORS is a place where the story of Latgale is both created and told. The cultural heritage and ancient values, traditions and creation, the language and events, the most significant global trends, art, culture, dance and songs converge here. At GORS, life runs high – concerts, theatre performances, films, seminars and conferences are held here, there is a restaurant to celebrate life, as well as a playroom for children. At night, the illuminated concert hall obtains a surreal animated effect – it seems as if the whole building vibrates from the muted sounds of music. It is one of the best places for acoustic concerts in the Baltics. Listen, get up, come and feel GORS!