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DUNDAGA (DONDANGEN)

          Dundaga is located 37 km northwest of Talsi, on the shores of the Pāce River dam lake. In ancient times it was part of the Vanema region of Kursa. In 1245 Dundaga came under the control of the Riga dom capital. Not later than 1318 the dom capital built the Dundaga Castle, whose main function was commercial – to serve as a goods depot and warehouse before delivery to consumers in Riga. The castle was formed as a freestyle castle with administrative rooms, warehouses and a large courtyard encircled on several sides by defensive walls and ancillary buildings. Initially a Kurši village stood by the castle. In 1434 Dundaga Castle and its properties were purchased by the Bishop of Kurzeme, but from the 16th to the 20th centuries it was in private hands under the Maidel and von Ostenzaken families. Over this period the structure was badly scarred by two fires (1872 and 1905) and was rebuilt several times. For this reason the castle’s initial layout and fragments from earlier times are difficult to detect today.
          Dundaga Lutheran Church was built in 1766, but its tower was raised in 1897. The church’s Rococo interior was created in the third quarter of the 18th century. The author of the painting "Eastern Morning" (1912) was the outstanding Latvian painter Janis Rozentāls. The artist used Art Nouveau and symbolist forms of expression to depict this classic scene.

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