Bauska Castle is located in Bauska, perched on a hillock right at the confluence of the picturesque rivers Mūsa and Mēmele. It comprises two castles: the crumbling ruins of the 15th-century Livonian Order Castle and the 16th-century residence built for the Kettlers, Dukes of Courland and Semigallia.
The old castle’s central tower is located in the eastern part of the fortress and, together with the small gate tower, stands in guard of the castle gate placed behind a drawbridge-covered pit. The tower had both a defensive and a residential function. Its first floor was covered with a doliform vault, the walls had three embrasures for cannons, and a fireplace was located in the southwest corner. The cellar was used as a prison, while the tower’s upper floors were used for defence.
After the dissolution of the Livonian Order, the tower became part of the residence of the Dukes of Courland and Semigallia. In 1706, the castle was captured by Russian troops and partially destroyed on the orders of Tsar Peter I. In the late 18th century, it was no longer habitable and was left to decay.
Improvements made within the project
The project involved the conservation of the castle’s central tower and the adjoining walls. Before this, the original masonry was in a state of disrepair – the upper part of the walls had collapsed, the walls had cracks, caverns, and crumbling joints, the arches and the outer layer of mortar were dismantled, efflorescence was visible on the masonry. During reconstruction, the decayed masonry was rebuilt, the arches covering the embrasures were restored, the disintegrated stone and brick masonry joints were cleaned and renovated, and the surviving plaster fragments were restored.
No partition floors were restored in the tower: it remains a single room with wooden balconies providing different viewpoints of the interior. Covered balconies and galleries on the west wall boast stunning views of the ruins and the surrounding rivers Mūsa, Mēmele and Lielupe. The tower floors are connected by wooden staircases winding up both on the inside and outside of the tower, as well as restored stone staircases in the tower walls. A circular passageway was created along the reconstructed embrasures, overlooking the city skyline and the new part of the castle. It also provides an excellent top-down view of the tower’s interior. A wooden toilet bay was reconstructed at the south outer wall of the tower. The tower’s new roofing has two vital functions: to prevent rainwater from penetrating the tower walls and cellars; and to restore the historical appearance of the castle, as seen on an 18th-century drawing of the Bauska fortress. The tower has regained its bold architectural image. Its functionality is improved, and it can now host exhibitions, events and concerts all year round.
Investments – EUR 1,394,753.11
ERDF funding – EUR 565,105
state budget grant – EUR 24,931.10
municipal funding – EUR 804,717.01
The project was implemented by Bauska Municipality Local Government.
From May to September every day 9:00 – 19:00
During October – every day 9:00 – 18:00
During the last 30 minutes of the museum’s opening hours, tickets are sold only for tours of the Livonian Order Castle’s ruins and the tower’s observation deck.
- EUR 9 – adults
- EUR 4.50 – pupils, students
- EUR 4.50 – seniors
- Family ticket EUR 19,50* and EUR 14,50**
*family – 2 adults with 1 – 4 children 7–18 y.
**family – 1 adult with 1 – 4 children 7–18 y.
- children up to 7 years of age,
- For students of Latvian orphanages and special educational institutions, presenting a supporting document
- ICOM card holders, employees of Latvian museums with a valid ID,
- Every Wednesday – students of special education institutions with a valid ID,
- Students of Bauska municipality schools with a valid ID in groups organised by teachers,
- Leaders of organised visitor groups (groups > 15 persons).
- Persons with group I disability and an accompanying person,
- Persons with group II disability,
- Latvian large families (with families 3+ card),
- Lithuanian and Estonian large families with families card “Šeimos kortelė” (Lithuania) and “Perekaart” (Estonia)
Parking is available 200 m from the museum, and Bauska central bus station is a 20-minute walk from the castle.