Rundale Sightseeing Tour
Rundale, one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Latvia, was built in 1736-1740 as a summer residence for the Duke of Courland, Ernst Johann Biron. The palace was designed by the outstanding Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the creator of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. Crystal chandeliers, silk wallpaper, rich stucco molding, sculptures, luxurious tiled fireplaces, mirrors, elegant galleries and refined colors and frescos were made by Italian artists Francesco Martini and Carlo Zucci. Now the renovated areas show the former glory of the palace. During the summer the tour includes a visit to the palace’s French regular park.
The representation rooms in the eastern wing of the palace – the Gilt Hall, the White Hall, and the Great Gallery – are open to the public. The central block accommodates the Duke's suite with reception parlours and private rooms, and the eastern block – a fully restored suite of Duchess's rooms. The Rundāle Palace Museum works as a centre for research into Latvia's history, through creating collections, arranging exhibitions and producing publications. The exhibition halls display applied art, fine art and historical expositions; the palace hosts the Early Music Festival and recitals of classical music.
The regular French style park with its rose garden, the Green Theatre, ornamental parterres and the fountain, are open for the public. In summers, the park becomes the venue for the Garden Festival. A Baroque palace cannot be imagined without the French garden, an elaborate architectural framework devised of green plantings that should manifest the triumph of art over nature. The park spreads out to the south of the palace, and Bartolomeo Rastrelli designed it together with the palace building. An artificial canal runs around the park, encircling also the palace and the stables. Although Rundāle's formal garden is but 10 ha large, Rastrelli has managed to fill it with an intricate maze of allées, cross paths, pergolas and bosquets. Rundale, one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Latvia, was built in 1736-1740 as a summer residence for the Duke of Courland, Ernst Johann Biron. The palace was designed by the outstanding Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the creator of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. Meeting/pick-up point: Pick-up from hotels in Riga.
Duration: 6 hours.
Others: Entrance tickets not included.