Located fifty kilometres southwest of the capital Riga, Jelgava, Latvia, is home for around sixty-three thousand inhabitants and is the fourth-biggest city in the country. The official language is Latvian, but Russian is also spoken due to the high percentage of Russians, who make up more than one-fourth of the local population; younger people usually speak some English, as well, so communication is not a big problem.
Getting to Jelgava is easy by train or bus, as both services operate regularly and frequently. The trains depart from Riga Central Station roughly once every hour. The trip takes about fifty minutes. The buses run more frequently, and the travel time is about the same. If you are interested in the local history and culture, Jelgava has some worth-seeing museums to offer. In addition to that, the well-known Jelgava Palace is particularly interesting for architecture lovers.
Jelgava Palace is the largest Baroque-style palace in the Baltic States. The complex used to be the residence of Courland and Zemgale dukes; nowadays, it houses the Lativan University of Agriculture. In the building, you can also find the museum exhibition Tombs of the Dukes of Courland, which date back to the sixteenth century. Currently, you can find nine wooden coffins and twenty-one sarcophagi. They contain members of two important dynasties, Kettler and Biron; all of them died between the sixteenth and eighteenth century. Some creepy feelings are guaranteed while looking at the displayed unusual items of this museum.
Architecture enthusiasts should also take a look at the manor house Villa Medem. This very-well maintained city house was built in the early nineteenth century, and is renowned for its beautiful architectural features. History and railway lovers should check out the Latvian Railway History Museum. The wooden house shows exhibits on the history of the Latvian transport system including locomotive wheels, two handcars, a signalman post, traffic lights, and semaphore in the outside area.
If you decide to stay in Jelgava, you can chose from several hotels and guesthouses; options exist for a hostel in Jelgava, Latvia. There is no real particular zone where most hotels are located; they are a bit spread out in the centre. The offers range from top-quality hotels to inexpensive, simpler accommodations. You'll find a Jelgava, Latvia hostel a bit outside of the city centre. The area is quiet, but the facilities as well as the atmosphere of the Jelgava, Latvia hostel are average or even below.
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