The Koknese Castle Ruins



Koknese Castle used to be one of the largest and most important castles in the region. Dating back to 1209, the stone castle originally built for the Archbishop of Rīga soon grew into a huge fortress with a castle-front and the fortified town of Koknese nearby. The castle was abandoned after its mighty western towers were blown up in 1701, and its imposing ruins have survived to this day, even after the Pļaviņas HPP reservoir was flooded, and the water level crept up to the castle’s foundations. The medieval ruins of Koknese Castle are still one of the most scenic locations between the rivers Pērse and Daugava.

Today, Koknese medieval ruins host theatrical performances, concerts, coin minting, Latvian traditional wedding ceremonies, and an unconventional custom the locals call Waking the Catfish. An audio guide tells of the ancient castle’s former grandeur. Visitors can explore the horrifying torture chamber, witness the historical cobblestone paving and see the original location of the castle’s former well. The castle-front offers large-format outdoor games: a version of Snakes and Ladders called The Ancient Hanseatic City of Koknese, dominoes Made in Koknese, and the jigsaw puzzle Koknese Medieval Castle Ruins. The historical exhibition in the pavilion gives a glimpse of the landscape forever lost.


Improvements made within the project

The project reinforced the brickwork structures of the Castle’s northern wing on the river Pērse side. The top of the wall has been reinforced with water-absorbing turf to prevent rain from damaging the masonry. In the centre of the courtyard, the historical well site has been uncovered, as indicated by research and historical descriptions. The castle’s basement now offers the first exhibition – the torture chamber –, with the basement ceiling functioning as a viewing platform at the same time. Visitors to the torture chamber can inspect and learn about various medieval torture devices, such as the rack, the coffin, and the pillory. Tourists will be offered to play a thrilling escape game where they will have to break out of the torture chamber by deciphering puzzles. The exhibition and related services are available in the active tourist season, from spring to autumn.

Investments – EUR 294,117.65

Of which:

ERDF funding – EUR 250,000

state budget grant – EUR 11,029.39

municipal funding – EUR 33,088.26

The project was implemented by Koknese Municipality Council.



Koknese Park, Koknese Parish, Aizkraukle Municipality


Working time

Every day 9:00 – 19:00


Admission fee

  • EUR 1.80 for adults 
  • EUR 0.90 for the politically repressed
  • EUR 1.30 Skolēniem, studentiem, pensionāriem (uzrādot apliecību) 1,30 eiro
  • EUR 5 Family ticket (2 adults and 2 or more children)
  • 10 % discount for groups of 20 people or more
  • Free admission for preschool children and disabled persons (with a valid certificate)

Getting there

Access on foot, by private transport (you can leave the car at the parking lot and walk about 300 m to the site).


Good to know

Guided tours are available. Call: Daiga Dūniņa +371 26549681, +371 Spodra Briede 26001194.