Rundale Pils: French-style castle in LatviaFriday 6 th August 2010 - 17:02
Sometimes I wonder why I travel so much ... I'm almost at the end of my tour of Latvia and a cool Friday morning, I go to Rundale near the Lithuanian border, to discover the "Latvian Versailles". The resemblance is uncanny, although the size is ridiculous compared to that of the famous palace of the Louis XIV. But the spell is the same, the architecture restored shines in the morning sun. The remains of aristocracy and Courlandian style of Pils Rundale Courlandian welcome me.
Pils = castle Rundale = locality therefore Pils Rundale = Rundale castle. Finally, Latvian is not so complicated! Stop joking, I am in front of a marvel of XVIII century Latvian architecture. In a purely classical style and inspired by the French Renaissance palaces, it was built under the orders of Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who also built the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Commissioned by the Duke of Courland von Biron, the nest of love enabled him to join his mistress Empress of Russia Anna Ioannavna.
With 138 rooms, including the decoration of the white room, my favorite room, the castle recalls the most prestigious palace of the tsarist era. Around the castle, the French gardens greet between roses and pruned shrubs. I also spot the nest of storks on the roof. They are installed since 1992!
I look at this castle and the garden, imagining the Great, walking on the dusty paths or descending the grand staircase of marble. The most beautiful room according to me, is the white room, a ballroom of the eighteenth century. The atmosphere is cheerful and light, almost pure. White was chosen to highlight the luxurious garments of the aristocracy. The decorations are painted on the walls and on the ceiling, bucolic scenes and ground forces intertwine to create a set full of ideas and technics.
Pictures are forbidden, I put a video made by Tech Art, Laura's web agency (participant of the reporting) about the palace Rundale.