Latvia - Riga
Rundāle Palace is one of the two major baroque palaces built for the Dukes of Courland in what is now Latvia, the other being Jelgava Palace. The palace was built in two periods, from 1736 until 1740 and from 1764 until 1768. It is situated at Pilsrundāle, about 80 km south of Riga (or, around 1 hr. drive). One could be forgiven for saying that the palace experienced somewhat of a “fall from grace” during the 19th and 20th centuries, serving very different purposes – in 1812, it served as a hospital for Napoleon´s army, and for most of the middle part of the 20th century, it served as a public school. In 1972, however, plans to return the palace to its former glory were started, and in 2015, the restoration works were finally complete. Today, the palace and surrounding gardens are now a museum, while also serving as accommodation for notable guests of Latvia, such as leaders of foreign nations.
Photo Credit: RigaAdventure.com