The residence of the Dukes of Courland – the Kettlers in Bauska is the only preserved type of fortified castle illustrating the castle architecture of Mannerism in Latvia after its restoration.

The investigation and gradual restoration of the castle's newest part began in 1973. The planning work was carried out by the architect Arigo Zandbergs and later the architects Andris Ceļmalis and Valdis Liepa, but restoration works – by specialists of the Scientific Restoration Workshop (later – administration) of the Ministry of Culture of the Latvian SSR. The museum's construction group established in 1991 and working under supervision of Modris Dreimanis up to 1999 took over the castle's restoration works. By 1995 the castle's size, coverings among storeys and roof bearing structures were restored. In the period from 1997 to 1999, premises for the museum's administration and collection were built on the roof storey of the building's southern part. But in the period from 1996 to 2000 conservation of the northeastern tower and fragments of the northern wall's sgraphito decorative finish in the building's northern part, as well as restoration of the northeastern tower's facade was carried out by involving a professional and experienced cooperation partner, the Czech restoration company "Miloš Gavenda – restaurator". After 2000, the restoration works were interrupted up to 2006, when the financial aid from the European Regional Development Fund was received for completing the first stage of restoration and reconstruction works in the Duke's residence. A new technical project is now being developed. Authors: architects Ināra Caunīte (Latvia), Václav Girsa (the Czech Republic) and Miloslav Hanzl (the Czech Republic). The project is developed in cooperation with the restorer Miloš Gavenda (the Czech Republic) and specialists of the Bauska Castle Museum.

Restoration concept

  • The main task of the new castle's rehabilitation is to preserve all the existing authentic fragments of the building. All remains of the elements of historical stone walls, plasters and decorative architecture are fastened and restored.
  • Investigating the preserved historical structures and details it is necessary to obtain as much information as possible about the historical image of the construction object. This information is the basis of a reliable solution for restoration.
  • The stabilised and restored original parts of the building's construction play a crucial role in regard to the new castle's image. They reflect the building's authenticity, age and cultural value.
  • The result of the new castle's rehabilitation depends on a reasonably selected concept of the interior ensemble. The typology of architectural elements and details is determined by the inquiry materials of the castle's environment, the respective age and local analogy. In places where the monument's investigation cannot ensure the precision of details neutral additions may be used by harmoniously integrating them into the object's architectonic solution.
  • Restoration technologies are to be developed based on tests of original materials carried out in the laboratory. The following classical lime technologies are to be used – lime water, hydrated and deposited lime.
  • The reconstructive additions to the mass of stone walls and plasters must comply with the content, type of finish and appearance of the original fragments. Bricks, floor tiles, eroded stones complying with the originals must be used, and they can be obtained by making special orders or applying the material recycling approach.

Now the restored monument contains exposition and exhibition halls of the Bauska Castle Museum, a concert and conference hall, museum's work premises, a small guest house and cafe.

General Contractor  – SIA "NIA" (Latvia), decorative finish of facades and interior walls – company "Miloš Gavenda – restaurator" (the Czech Republic), preparation of finishing work – SIA "Fasāde PRO", the roof, window and doors – SIA "SP" (the Czech Republic), restoration of vaults – Vidzeme Association of Restorers (Latvia), restoration of the wooden ceiling and floors – SIA "Lamela" (Latvia), construction works – SIA "Vegas grupa", engineering networks – SIA "Sannia", SIA "Elektronia", SIA "Gaztex", SIA "Voteks".  

Head of Restoration – the Director of the Bauska Castle Museum, Māris Skanis, Construction Supervisor – Andrejs Karpičs.

Created – Hofmanstudio