16th century (second half)

At the beginning of 1562, the Livonian Order was abolished, and the last Master of the Livonian Order, Gotthard Kettler became the Duke of Courland and Semigallia. He gained possession of the Bauska Castle. The Livonian War ended with the signing of the Peace Treaty of Jam - Zapolski on 15 January 1582, and extension of the castle was allegedly started.


After the death of Gotthard in 1587, his sons Friedrich and Wilhelm became the Dukes of Courland. In his will, he left his 18-year old son Friedrich Bauska along with other castles of Semigallia. Until his youngest, 13-year-old brother's coming of age Friedrich had to rule by himself under guardianship of his mother, the Duchess, and several counsellors. The court of the Duchess and chancellery were moved to the Bauska Castle and remained there until 1596 that is considered the year when construction of the Dukes' residence was completed. It is confirmed by documentary evidence – the stone moulding with inscription "SOLI DEO GLORIA ANNO 1596" found among the ruins of the Bauska Castle.

In the same year the Duchy of Courland was divided in two parts as it was stated by the will of Gotthard – Friedrich ruled in Semigallia and Selia (Sēlija) with the centre in Mittau (Mītava, at present called Jelgava), while Wilhelm – in Courland with the centre in Goldingen (at present Kuldīga).

The Bauska Castle was now merely a centre of the castle's court that was governed by the hauptmann. Thirty-nine lords of the manor representing the court of the Bauska Castle from 1561 to 1796 have been studied. Lords of the manor had the administrative and judicial power over residents of the Duke's domain estates, as well as they fulfilled control functions. 16 crown estates were under the authority of lords of the manor of Bauska.

In 1568, 1590 and 1601 the Landtag (meetings of landest gentry, nobility) of the Duchy were held in the Bauska Castle. In these meetings, they discussed issues regarding establishment and organisation of churches, keeping of order in the country, the inheritance procedure of the Duke's crown, final establishment of the border between the Duchy of Courland and Lithuania, division of roads, participation of the Duke and landlords in military expeditions, registration of population, ownership of estates, etc.

Created – Hofmanstudio