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Autumn Story No.1 – Rundāle Palace

October 19, 2013

While some try to catch sun somewhere in the south of Europe, just before the cold arrives, we decided to head north and to use the last decent autumn days exploring stunning historical buildings. As long as it’s not raining, wild landscapes and empty roads, while it’s “snowing” yellow leaves, can be as mesmerizing as the waves on the Mediterranean… but let me tell you stories the way I’m used to – showing lots of images.

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Rundāle Palace (or Rundāles pils) – a place you probably have never heard of, as it is in Latvia, a small country tucked away in the northeastern part of Europe, yet you might have known the name of Bartolomeo Rastrelli – a French-born Russian-Italian architect, whose major works, including the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg and the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, are famed for extravagant luxury and opulence of decoration.

This palace, constructed in the 1730s to a design by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, was a summer residence of Ernst Johann von Biron, the Duke of Courland. Following Biron’s fall from grace, the palace stood empty until the 1760s, when Rastrelli returned to complete its interior decoration – everything was finished in 1768.

The building’s walls must remember all its previous owners – Count Valerian Zubov and Count Shuvalov, also the German occupation, when it was turned into hospital, and 1920s when it served as the local school… Only in 1972 was a permanent Rundāle Palace Museum established and since then it has been transformed into a place that is worth to once again be called a palace!

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For more information about the palace, please visit its official website – simply click here.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2013 9:54 am

    the soft mustard and white extrerior is most striking. Some very lovely shots here

    • October 20, 2013 7:00 pm

      Thank you, Laura, for your comment. I must admit the building is really beautiful – there are so many details, that make it extremely interesting to look at, and the warm colours make it seem very cozy (when you go inside you realize it is cozy!).

  2. October 20, 2013 5:42 pm

    Agree. Great photos and what a huge building beautifully decorated.

    • October 20, 2013 7:05 pm

      I love visiting old places that are packed with antique riches, so I guess this was a perfect location. Glad you like the photos, hopefully I managed to capture everything they way it really is (and it is very beautiful!).

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