Bauska is situated on the hill between the Mūsa and the Mēmele rivers. It's an important road junction and the centre of the Bauska region. The city began to develop in the 15th century when the Livonian Order built a stone castle here. Bauska's castle was the last in Latvia built by the Order and the city's only real attraction today. It is however a good base to explore Rundāle Palace and Mežotne Manor - each only 10km away.
Take a bus to Bauska from the Riga bus station.
Where to Stay
Rīgas 41, tel. (+371) 63 92 40 00, www.kunguligzda.viss.lv. 15 rooms (doubles 25 - 90Ls).
Iecavas district, on the road Riga-Bauska (38 km from Riga), tel. (+371) 63 92 80 33, www.brencis.viss.lv. 21 rooms (singles, doubles 20 - 40Ls).
The castle was built in 1443. In 1706 the castle was blown up. In 1969 it was reconstructed and now holds a Bauskas castle museum. You should also check out the Lutheran church. Since 1705 it has held Latvian services.
Latvia's answer to Versailles and Sans Soucis, this baroque palace (77 km south of Riga) was built between 1736 and 1767 for one of the Dukes of Kurzeme. The architect was the Italian Bartolemeo Rastrelli, also responsible for the Hermitage in St Petersburg. It was badly damaged during the war, but has been lovingly renovated over the years and many areas now show some of its former glory.