“TheCeļotājs” –
Aizpute Town Sights in Courland
   
Epilog –
Aizpute Town Sights in Courland
 
Upon the conclusion of my one day visit and guided excursion of the Town of Aizpute, I was asked of all the places and sights visited, what were the most interesting places and sights to me. Since I was still downloading and processing all the data that I had taken in during this time, all I could do was name a couple of places and sights. Now that I have had time to reflect back and process all the data that I had taken in, the pictures and information, I have to say at this time, it is hard to name just one two or even three places or sights, because every place we went to and everything I saw was very interesting to me, be it the old historical church, the castle ruins, the stone bridge, its watermill, the numerous historical wooden structures, or even some of its old streets. Aizpute historical center and its many wooden structures that date back to the beginning of time or maybe a bit past the year of 1378 when it gained its legal rights as a town on the 17th of March. This wooden architectures structures are included in the European Cultural Heritage.
 
So I will take them in the order of this excursion. This by no means, does it nor will it reflect on what maybe of interest to others. With my many travels through Latvia, I have found that different people have different interests or sights they are interested in, their interest may not be what I maybe interested in. Their approach to history may not be the same way I approach history, their interest in historical buildings, landmarks, or past events in history may not be my interest in history nor how I approach history nor look at it in the same way. Their mission may not be the same mission that I have while visiting Latvia and its may historical towns and cities..... 
 
So with all that said, let us go on with the excursion of the Town of Aizpute and its many different sights. Leaving the Tourist Center we will starting with the Aizpute Mill  Lake and Watermill and move on from there.
 
Aizpute Mill Lake and Watermill 
 
The Castle Manor includes a Watermill built in the late 18th and early 19th century, one can also see next to the Watermill the Tebra Waterfall. The Manor Brewery was built in the 19th century by connecting two older Castle Mansion farm buildings.  Today these historical buildings set empty and abandoned. With a little hard work from the local workforce, they could turn this Watermill into a working tourist attraction by restoring it back to the time it was in operation. This would be a great tourist attraction by making it a working example as to just how a Watermill works during their time of operation. Visitors would be able to actually see it in operation, water going through the slush gates and turning the watermill, along with this, printed copies of the history of the Watermill could also be made available for a small fee. A small fee could be charged to cover the cost of its operation and its restoration and other items could be sold also. 
 
Stone Bridge over the Tebra River 
 
More written history and information needs to be made available and publish other then the one paragraph description found in the handouts. The Stone Bridge over the Tebra River is Aizpute oldest bridge, built in 1907. Today it is one of the last stone bridges in Latvia. Originally designed by engineer Karro and it was built by businessman named Foksdorfs with municipal funds. Baron Kazdanga K. fon Manteifel's family coat of arms is carved on the stone bridge railing because he provided the financing for the railing.
 
Unfortunately when one tries to do more research on the names of its designer "Karro", and being built by the businessman "Foksdorfs" or even the Baron Kazdanga K. fon Manteifel's family coat of arms, no further publish information can be found. More information needs to be published on then as well as the design drawings and as well as a picture or drawing of the coat of arms that can be found on one of the railings. Since it is so faded, it is had to see just what it looks like.  By publishing this information, it would make it more interesting then just one of the last stone bridges in Latvia. Must people would think yep it is a stone bridge, but what is the history behind it. Then we come to the Tebra River, to which there is no information on it for Latvia. What is its source, how long is it and what is the history behind it, since a castle was built next to it. During the time when castles were being built, they had a reason for building them next to a rivers. Just what was their reason?
 
Aizpute Livonian Order Castle Ruins 
 
Now this is another historical structure that definitely needs more written information on other then. The castle structure dates back to 1249 A.D. and it is a national architectural monument. There is more history behind this structure when it and that they were a German Livonian Order. There were a lot of German Livonian Orders located through out the Baltic's. I have to agree that it would be to costly to try and restore this castle, but a bit more information needs to be published about this protectoral German Order and the reason they decided to build a castle at this protectoral spot. 
 
Aizpute Saint John's Lutheran Church 
 
The church was originally built in 1254 in the same place where German crusaders looted and destroyed the ancient castle Beida of the Kurši people. The church has been rebuilt many times, the current structure dates from 1860. It is one of the oldest church buildings in Kurzeme and a national monument. The church is included in the European Cultural Heritage List. This is fine as far as it goes, but there are differently three different area that needs to be expanded a bit more as to who were the German crusaders looters, where and when was the castle Beida located and when was it built, a bit more information is needed, since it was part of Aizpute early history. When one tries to do more research on the name, one can not find anything that makes since or refers to Latvia. This is like wise with the Kurši people. Just who were they? Like wise this is also part of Aizpute early history. 
 
Aizpute Historic Center 
 
Aizpute Historic Center is located within a triangular area between Jāņa, Kaļolu and Atmodas iela. The area has wooden houses that date from the 19th century. These old town buildings are national monuments of urban wooden architecture and have been incorporated into the European Cultural Heritage List. Unfortunately by this time, these wooden buildings that look like they date back to the beginning of time or 1249 and a bit newer, with all the old wooden buildings I have see while traveling through out Latvia, it got to the point where an old wooden building got to be just another old wooden building. If it didn't have a specific point of historical interest I didn't take that many pictures of them. But they may have more interest to others.
 
Burial Place for Soldiers who Fell in World War II 
 
Located in this small cemetery are the graves of those soldiers who fell during World War II. While walking through this cemetery, I was unable nor is there a central location for their graves, it must be assumed that they are scatted through out this cemetery. As we walk through this cemetery, it is hard to identify their graves since it is now weed covered with knee high grass and weeds and the headstones are in such a disarray it is totally imposable to know who is who or tell the military graves from the civilian graves. The only graves that you can tell who they are, their names are carved or engraved in their granite headstones.  If I hadn't known before hand and had not been told it was a Burial Place for Soldiers who Fell in World War II, it would look like just another poorly maintained and abandoned cemetery that can be found throughout Latvia. We have come across small cemeteries that are located in the countryside that are abandoned and weed covered while others are well maintained. Some of these were even military cemeteries while others are just civilian, and yet again we have found other small cemeteries that are neat and well maintained. Unfortunately there are so many of these cemeteries located through out Latvia. The reason must be the area one is in and who is in charge of the cemeteries as well as what money is available for this type of up keep. 
 
Aizpute Jewish Cemetery 
 
The Aizpute Jewish Cemetery is located 2.2km from the center of Aizpute and roughly 198 meters west of Kalvenes iela 88 and Route P115 beyond the border of the city. There is a sign at the entrance leading to the cemetery which is at the end of a single grassy path leading to the entrance of the cemetery.
 
Today, the cemetery is in such disarray and in much need of upkeep and repair. As one walks through the cemetery, one can see knee high grass and weeds. A majority of the headstone and grave sites are in complete disarray, with many of the headstones have toppled over and the graves are in such poor shape that the tops have either caved in or have been up turned. I have seen and have visited and been through many abandoned Jewish Cemeteries, but this one is the worst one I have ever seen. What I have been informed, neither the town nor the parishes that they are located in are not responsible for there upkeep. It is up to the areas Jewish Council to see to their upkeep. With the billons of dollars being spent on military weaponry and with others living quite comfortable it seem that they can’t find a few thousand dollars or even a few hundred dollars to see that their ancestors’ have a descent and well maintained resting place. But again, most of the people who are buried there, their family members are now long gone. Either not by their choice, have fled to other countries or have long since died leaving no one to maintain this site. But yet –
 
Aizpute Soviet Union era Russian World War II Military Cemetery 
 
Aizpute Soviet Union era Russian World War II Military Cemetery and its Monument is located along the inside edge of Aizpute Adventist Church yard which is located at Kalvenes iela 38a. There are 14 headstones in this cemetery with names engraved on them. This is another World War II Military Cemetery that there is no further information is available nor can be found. The locals only know it is a World War II Soviet Union Military Cemetery created by the local Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic "Latvian SSR" Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union during the Soviet Union second occupation. These types of cemeteries are located through out Latvia. Where ever there was a large battle with many deaths occurred. These cemeteries again were constructed by the local Latvian SSR Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union with out regards in recording their history, locations or information on them. Now if there was information on them, it has long been lost or has been sent to Moscow and not available. Again there are hundreds of these small cemeteries scattered through out Latvia with a majority of them again constructed by the local Latvian SSR. The only large, "Soviet Union" "Red Army" or as I have referred to through out my writings, Soviet Union era Russian World War II Cemetery since they were Russians first. Again the only large Soviet Union era Russian World War II Cemetery I was able to locate in Latvia is located along P114 in Priekule parish, Latvia where some 23,000 Soviet soldiers and officers who fell during World War II are buried. It is known as the World War II Soviet Warrior's Cemetery. These smaller ones only have a few hundred buried in them.
 
In conclusion 
 
These comments should by no means reflect on your visit to Aizpute. These comments are what we observed and the many different places that were visited as well as ways they could be improved in order to cover the history of Aizpute much better.
 
The history of a village, town, or city is its life blood of its attractions to others who may be interested in visiting. The more history of these villages, towns, or cities and its many historical attractions that is available the more attractive it becomes to others. This is one of the things I look for before visiting a given or certain village, town or city. The more historical history I can find on these places and its attraction, the more interest it becomes to me to visit. But again this is now I look at places to visit and see their sights.
 
So have a good visit to Aizpute.
 
"TheCeļotājs" 
 
 
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Revised: 03/18/2013 13:33:10