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Bauschke castle

Bauschke, the castle is located in Bauska, at the junction of two rivers - Moses and Memelas. The castle was a fortification built in the 15th century. It is assumed that its construction was completed in 1451. Near the castle formed a settlement whose inhabitants were craftsmen and fishermen. Formed a settlement called "Wiregrass". Here is also located the Church and school building.

Already in 1518 the settlement was first mentioned in Chronicles under the name of Bauska. Linguists point to two possible ways of education of the name: from the words of bauska - a bad meadow, either from bauze - head, the top of the hill.

At the end of 1559 Bauska fortress, along with several other castles and regions were transferred to Poland for temporary use, as a payment for the help of the Livonian order in the struggle with Russia. In the spring of 1562. After the fall of the Livonian order, its last master Gotthard Kettler, swore allegiance to the Polish king Sigismund II August became the Duke of Kurzeme and Zemgale. At the end of this year Bauschke, the castle was transferred into ownership of the Duke Kettler.

After the Livonian war in 1852, construction began on the new Bauschke, castle, construction of which was completed, probably in 1596. This is evidenced by the discovered a stone tablet with the inscription “ Soli Deo Gloria Anno 1596”. In the same year, according to the will of Gotthard Kettler, the Duchy was divided between his two sons: Friedrich and Wilhelm. Duke Friedrich moved to Jelgava. It is believed that Bauska was granted city status in 1609, when Duke Frederick gave the city coat of arms depicting a lion.

In 1621 with the beginning of the Polish-Swedish war, Duke Friedrich along with the court was temporarily housed in the castle bauschke, as Riga and Jelgava was occupied by Swedish troops. In 1625 the Swedes managed to capture the Bauska castle, where they remained until 1628. In 1624 after the death of Duke Frederick, his throne was taken by the son of his brother Wilhelm Jacob. In 1658 the Swedes invaded again and captured Jelgava and Dobele Bauschke locks. Ruined and destroyed the castle returned to Poland in 1660 after the signing of the peace of Oliwa. Then the repair and reconstruction work carried out in the castle, spent a lot of money.

At the beginning of the Northern war in 1701 the Swedes again took the castle, and in 1706 the entire Courland passed to the Russian Empire. In 1795 the Duchy of Courland became part of Russia. In 1812 the territory of Courland was invaded by German troops for several months they managed to take the city of Jelgava and Bauska. They hoped to restore the Duchy of Courland and attach it to Prussia.

Restoration work in bauschke castle which was the residence of the Dukes of Courland, was started in 1973. In our days visitors are available for inspection ramparts, the ruins of the castle, you can also climb to the observation deck, located in the Central tower, which offers spectacular views of the castle. In addition, the Museum Bauschke, the castle offers visitors a tour of the residence of the Dukes of Courland.

With the Bauska castle is rich in legends. On one of them, at midnight on the tower of the castle rises master, erected when the walls of this fortress. He was buried many centuries ago near the castle, and still his spirit cannot accept the fact. Numerous wars destroyed the fortress. There are two Ghost guards, which at night appear at the castle gates. The fact that the guards slept through the enemy, and he infiltrated the castle and captured it. The spirits of these guardians of the night returns to the bridge leading to the castle and saw him, that would not prevent the penetration of invaders in the fortress.