My Family History Tour of Latvia, 2012

Posted on 4th March 2014 in adventure, architecture, explored, photojournalism

Latvia is a very special place in my heart, for many reasons.

One of those reasons is that my family has a very long history there. If you’re not familiar with Riga, I’ve made two posts on the architecture there (Part I & Part II). Riga is a very beautiful old city in an old country, with a lot of amazing history over the centuries, and a lot of very sad history too.

My family had estates scattered around Latvia that were lost sometime around the Russian Revolution(s) ~1917. For so long Latvia was behind the Russian Iron Curtain, but within the last 10-20 years everything has changed making it accessible to us foreigners. While I was there I rented a car and tried to visit as many of the old family estates as I possibly could.

I received such beautiful hospitality when I was there in 2012 from a few people who made my family history tour possible: Gerda Berzina, Imants Lancmanis, & Ojars Sparitis, who all went out of their way to extend their services to me. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities they presented to me, and in fact I’m a little ashamed it took me so long to write this post as a token of my gratitude.

If you’re interested in seeing a map with pins (markers) where I visited, head to my family genealogy site, tobyns.com,where I’ve made an interactive map.

My trip went from Riga -> Schleck -> Edwalen -> Pope -> Ugale -> Riga on day 1. On day 2 I went to Mežotne -> Rundāle -> Elley -> Vilce -> Jelgeva -> Riga.

This is what I saw.

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck (lv. Zlekas)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Edwalen (lv. Edole)

Popen (lv. Pope)

Popen (lv. Pope)

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Imants Lancmanis & Gerda Berzina at Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Imants Lancmanis & Gerda Berzina at Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Schloss Ruhental (lv. Pils Rundāle) | Summer Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Mitau Palace (lv. Latvijas Lauksaimniecības universitāte Jelgava Palace) | Winter Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Courland

Mitau Palace (lv. Latvijas Lauksaimniecības universitāte Jelgava Palace) | Winter Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Kurland

Mežotne Palace

Mežotne Palace

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Elley (lv. Eleja)

Graveyard at Elley (lv. Eleja)

Graveyard at Elley (lv. Eleja)

Bandstand at Elley (lv. Eleja)

Bandstand at Elley (lv. Eleja)

Vilce

Vilce

 

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