One of Latvian travel destinations that are really worth it. 

Looking for an interesting and new travel destination? If you consider visiting Latvia, then you should definitely have Rundale Palace on your must-to-go list. 
If we are about to speak of its history, then there are some facts you should know. Rundale area was first mentioned in 1505, though it was only around 1730's when the palace was set to be built. The palace was meant to be the Summer residence of the Duke of Courland, now famous, Ernst von Biron. It's life that always keeps changing people's plans. And a palace that was planned to be a Summer residence is no longer a residence. After Biron Rundale was owned by two major families of Russian Empire - first the Zubovs and then Shuvalov family. But it was the 20th century, when Rundale Palace saw tremendous changes. First, it was the War of Independence that resulted in serious damages for the palace, but, on the other hand, made Latvia an independent country. Secondly, it was WWII and post-war period when the palace happened to be in ever worser conditions and served as grain storehouse. Still it was 20th century that finally turned Rundale Palace in a museum, it remains such to the present day.
In terms of architecture the story of the Palace is even more exciting. Do you know who was the architect? It's one the masters of those times - Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli famous for Late Baroque style. He's the architect behind many beautiful palaces in Russian Empire. To name a few, it's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Hermitage Pavilion in Tsarskoe Selo, Peterhof Palace in Peterhof, Mariyinsky Palace in Kiev and another Latvian piece of art - Jelgava Palace in Jelgava. It said that skilled masters were brought from Petersburg, as well as Austria, Italy and Germany to work both on the exterior and interior of Rundale Palace. Apart from the palace itself Rundale is also famous for its beautiful garden. Gardening works were undertaken at the same time as the palace ones. So it's fair enough to say that both grew side by side. Sure the garden is not the same as it was centuries ago, still the palace isn't as well. But there's one thing you can say for sure - garden remains an essential part of Rundale Palace even today. 
I happened to visit Rundale Palace in early August of last year. To be honest, it's my very first time out there. Few hours ride in a car and I was there to shoot two of my Summer stories - Cinderella Got To Go and If You Could See Me Now. The majesty of Rastrelli's Palace and the beauty of endless garden paths - seems like a perfect place to spend life. If I ever could choose from all the palaces and castles on this planet, Rundale Palace would definitely be on my "dream-palaces-to-live" list. Just imagine waking up to such a view on a fountain and blossoming garden... Getting lost in this little Latvian paradise sounds like a perfect escape. I guess that's why Latvians love celebrating weddings in Rundale. And that's why the palace attracts so many tourists from all over the world. From China to Germany, from France to Russia. 

Photos: A. Puzova