17th century – 18th century (beginning)

Bauskas panorāma

Under the Swedish rule

GustavsDuring the Polish-Swedish War (the military conflict started at the beginning of the 17th century), the Swedish army went to Biržai in the territory of Lithuania in 1625 and occupied the village. On its way back to Riga the Swedish army reached the Bauska Castle where they established an encampment in the flood-lands along the right bank of Mūsa and began the siege of the castle. As it was mentioned in several letters written by the Duke Friedrich in autumn 1625, the invading army launched several assaults until they managed to enter the castle with the help of one burgher from Bauska. In one of the letters, the following was written: "The lord of the manor, Butlars died in the battle defending the castle's gate and several local landlords have been killed in the initial outbreak of rage." The garrison surrendered but the Swedes gained huge war booty, because landlords from the surroundings of Bauska had hidden themselves with all their treasure in the castle. Swedish troops stayed in Bauska until 1628, when the Poles forced them to leave the castle.

After Friedrich's death in 1542, the son of his brother Wilhelm, Jacob Kettler took his place. In 1650 and 1652, lists of the castle's inventory were made. The list comprised also the castle's existing arms and ammunition, including 48 muskets, 1 sword, 136 pikes and 20 half-pikes.

Sweden gained control over the Baltic Sea along with conclusion of the Peace Treaties of Munster and Osnabruck. In August 1655, representatives of the Duke of Courland received a note from Sweden offering its protection. The document included a request to transfer the Bauska Castle with all its food provisions into ownership of Sweden. The garrison of the Bauska Castle consisted of two companies of hired infantry soldiers (approximately 160 people). The Bauska Castle was transferred into ownership of Sweden in 1658.

The Swedish Army left the castle only after signing of the Peace Treaty of Oliva in 1660. The castle contained 18 cannons, 2 mortars, 3 howitzers and 28 usable muskets. In 1665, the castle's garrison consisted of one infantry company and a team of artillerymen (approximately 150 people). At the end of the 17th century hauptmann of Bauska Castle and its crown estate managers repeatedly approached the superior authorities with a request to assign money and construction materials for repairs of the castle. However, no great improvements were made until the end of the 17th century.

Modernisation of fortifications

Kārlis 12In 1700, warfare began again in the Baltic. The garrison of the Bauska Castle surrendered to the Swedish army in 1701. The Swedish Royal Library contains an overview of battles of the Swedish army describing the Bauska Castle as "an ancient castle with liveable premises, good vaults and cellars which was the reason why His Royal Majesty considered it suitable for both the magazine (storehouse) and border post, therefore the castle needed new fortifications in form of earthen ramparts".  Swedish warfare engineers under supervision of the Count Carl-Magnus Stewart developed a plan for modernisation of fortifications of the Bauska Castle envisaging the expansion of bastions and elevation of ramparts. Soldiers of the Swedish army and craftsmen from towns of Courland were engaged in these works.

A drawing of the Bauska Castle made at the beginning of the 18th century was the basis for an engraving well known nowadays that was published in the album dedicated to the life and activity of the King of Sweden Charles XII (Karl XII). Both the drawing and engraving are the only images showing the Bauska Castle unaffected. The scenery has been drawn from the perspective of the left bank of the river Mūsa.

Russians blow up the building

Pēteris IIn summer 1705 when a huge Russian army was approaching Courland the Swedes withdrew to Riga leaving garrisons in Jelgava and Bauska. At the end of August, the Russian conquerors had already taken the whole territory of the country. Soon also the Bauska Castle surrendered to the conquerors. A list of the castle's arms and ammunition was made after its occupation. It showed that the castle contained 46 cannons, 4 mortars, 8 howitzers and 370 muskets with a large amount of various ammunition.

When the Russian army left Courland in spring 1706, the Bauska Castle was abandoned as well, partially blowing it up. The greatest damage was done to the SE corner of the new castle. The Russian army allegedly blew up the castle's gunpowder cellar when leaving.
The Swedish soldiers who settled in the Bauska Castle and established a storehouse there for food and hay, as well as a horse stable began to loot again in Bauska. Along with the end of the Great Northern War in 1721, Sweden lost all of its possessions in Livonia. They were taken over by Russia. The Bauska Castle gradually turned into romantic ruins, because it was not necessary as a military fortification anymore.

Created – Hofmanstudio