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» Rundale Palace «
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The Rundale Palace is one of the most outstanding monuments of Baroque and Rococo art in Latvia, built between 1736 and 1740 as a summer residence of the Duke of Courtland Ernst Johann Biron. It was designed and supervised by Russian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli.

Its located on the south of Riga on the main route from the capital to Vilnius you will find the town of Bauska and about twelve kilometres outside the town is Rastrelli's Rundale Palace. The palace contains some of the finest examples of Baroque and Rococo art in the country. It houses 138 rooms which store some 36,000 items, the palace is guaranteed to impress. From its crystal chandeliers to its frescoes by native Italian artists, and of course the fantastic gardens and fountains, this place will leave you awestruck.

 After the death of Empress Anna Ioannovna her favorite Ernst Johann Biron was arrested and exiled. Construction work in the palace was resumed after the Duke came back at the beginning of the reign of Empress Catherine II. The major part of the interiors was made in 1765-1768. The Italian masters Francesco Martini and Carlo Zucchi created the paintings on the ceiling and walls; the sculptor Johann Michael Graff and his team made stucco decorations on the background of the artificial marble.

    Following the annexation of the Duchy of Courland-Semgallen to the Russian empire, the Rundale Palace became the property of Zubov family and then was carried over to the Shuvalovs. The family of the Shuvalovs owned the palace until 1920, when the Palace was expropriated and became the property of the republic of Latvia. In 1933, the palace was given over to the State Museum of History and some repairs were carried out there. The palace didn't suffer damages during World War II but when the war was over some of its rooms were adapted for a granary. In 1972, the Rundale Palace Museum was founded and restoration of the palace began. Restoration works are still incomplete. And some of the premises are under construction.

The palace complex consists of the palace with inner courtyard, semicircular stables, large household yard, and formal park surrounded by a canal. Behind the canal there is a hunting ground. There are several exhibitions in the Rundale Palace: like "Treasures of the Rundale Palace", and "The Time of Misery".

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