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The Rundale Palace

The Rundale Palace

The Rundale Palace - one of the most well known pieces of architecture of the 18th Century in Latvia. Designed by Russian architect of Italian origin Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Construction of the cathedral began in 1736 on the order of Ernest Johann Biron, a favourite of the Russian Empress Anna Ioannovna. After her death in 1740 Biron was sent into exile and the construction of the palace was brought to a halt. It could only be continued and completed in the 1760’s, when Biron returned from exile. Workers and artists mainly from St Petersburg as well as soldiers were involved in the construction of the palace. After Courland became a part of Russia the palace passed into the ownership of Count Zubov and later became the property of the Shuvalov family. In 1920 the palace was taken over by the Latvian state. In 1972 a museum was opened within the palace and restoration works were begun, continuing to the present day.

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