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Bīriņi Castle

Riga, Latvia

Bīriņi castle is the most impressive example of the Rundbogenstil in Latvian manor architecture.

An Aviary is located on one side of it, while at the very centre of the park one finds the Lovers’ Oak, in whose branches tinkle the love bells left there by newlyweds. Down the broad stone staircase, we arrive at the lake-side arbour. Numerous visitors have memorialised themselves here in photographs, and newlyweds have promised each other eternal love on their wedding day!

The Water Mill Lane along the Mill Lake leads to the old Water Mill, where a museum of antiquities cosily shares space with a pub in the summer months.

While sipping a cocktail on the wooden deck over the lake, you will be able to watch fish devour every crumb thrown at them. In wintertime, we invite you to try leze, an ancient merry-go-round on ice. If you book in advance, a roaring fire, hot tea and a bath-house will await you.

The Bīriņi castle was built based on a design by the architect F. W. Hess. It is the most impressive representative of the Rundbogenstil in Latvian manor architecture. The overall architectonic execution of the structure can be attributed to the Neo-Gothic style, yet the lintels of the windows are a significant component of the overall composition, and these are typical of the Rundbogenstil. Thus, in terms of style, the Bīriņi castle can be considered an unusual two-way combination. It received recognition from contemporaries, and in the present day it can be seen as an example of atypical architectonic thinking. The building used to boast an opulent décor – sculptures, mouldings – but this was lost in World War I. A Neo-Renaissance interior has been preserved in the castle: a spacious entrance vestibule with a bilateral staircase, a dining-room with a wooden-panelled ceiling and glazed-tile stoves.

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