“TheCeļotājs” –  
Travels around Latvia
Rundāle Palace in September 2011 – Part II
Rundāles novads – Lat: N56.41341, Lon: E024.02486 
Rundāle Palace is one of the most outstanding monuments of Baroque and Rococo art in Latvia.
The Duchy of Courland-Semigallia, a vassal state of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was founded in 1561 and it existed until 1795.
In 1737 Ernst Johann Biron, a landlord in Courland and favorite of the Russian Empress Anna Ioannovna, became the Duke of Courland-Semigallia.
The Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli designed Rundāle Palace and supervised construction work. After the death of Empress Anna Ioannovna, the Duke was arrested and sent to exile in Russia. Construction works in the palace were resumed after the Duke's return at the beginning of the reign of Empress Catherine II.
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The major part of the interior was made in the period between 1765 and 1768.
The Italian masters from Saint Petersburg Francesco Martini and Carlo Zucchi created paintings on the ceilings and walls while sculptor Johann Michael Graff from Berlin made stucco decorations on the background of artificial marble. 
Following the annexation of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia to the Russian Empire, Rundāle Palace became the property of Count Valerian Zubov. The next owner of the palace was the Count's brother Platon Zubov whose widow married Count Andrei Shuvalov. The Shuvalov family owned the estate until 1920 when the new Latvian government introduced the agrarian reform and, as a result, the palace became the property of the Republic of Latvia.
Only in 1972 was the permanent Rundāle Palace Museum was established.
    Rundāle palace museum
    Rundāles pagasts
    Rundāles novads
    LV-3921, Latvija
    Tel. +371 63962274
    Fax +371 63922274
    Email: rpm@eila.lv
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Revised: 03-16-2013 – 13:27:35 d
ale Palace in September 2011 – Part II <>