June 19, 2023

The Eastern European Versailles


Did you know there was a hidden gem in Eastern Europe that could pass for the little brother (sister?) of Versailles? It's Rundales Castle just south of Latvia's capital, Riga. It's a stunning palace with more rooms to count and a garden full of plants, trees, and flowers from all over the world.

Built over two periods, from 1736 until 1740 and from 1764 until 1768, it was restored in 1972 and reopened to the public in 1981. Anyone can give it a visit (tickets are pretty cheap), have a walk through the grounds for free, stop for a coffee in one of the little cafes, and enjoy a nice day out looking at stunning baroque architecture and garden design.

The last time we went there, we went for the full-on tourist experience with a guide who drove us through the gardens and gave us the fascinating history of the place.