Daugavpils Off The Beaten Path

  • The New Old Believers' Meeting House
    The New Old Believers' Meeting House
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  • From Zeltkalna iela.
    From Zeltkalna iela.
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  • The Vorstadt Orthodox church.
    The Vorstadt Orthodox church.
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Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Daugavpils

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    The Ilgvars Zalāns Exhibit

    by daugavpilietis Updated Jan 22, 2006

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    20 October - 3 December at the Museum; this exhibit has closed, but the exhibition hall features different contemporary international artists. I am adding Ilgvars Zalāns' link below, where you can find info on his current shows.

    Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, the President . Vaira and the eurohammersickle. ... Dmitry, Tanya, and Farida.
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    The New Old Believers' Prayer Hall

    by daugavpilietis Updated Nov 5, 2005

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    According to Father Aleksei Zhilko of the First Congregation (in Jaunbūve -- see "Things To Do"), Daugavpils has more Old Believers' congregations than any other city in the world (the Old Believers took refuge from persecution in what is now Latvia from the 17th C). The new house of worship was consecrated in 2003 and stands next to the old one, at Līksnas iela 38 in the Old Vorstadt. The Central Council of the loosely organized sect was in Latvia between the wars. In 1935 there were 107 000 Old Believers in Latvia, 78 000 of them in Latgola -- their numbers today are difficult to estimate. A feature of their belief is a unique form of singing, and the Jaunbūve congregation supports a choir that has become known internationally. If you visit any of their houses of worship, be aware that they hold conservative views regarding dress (women should wear dresses or skirts and must cover their heads).

    The New Old Believers' Meeting House
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    The Vorstadt Sauna

    by daugavpilietis Written Nov 5, 2005

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    The pirts (Latv.) or banya (Rus.) in the Vorstadt, stones and firewood at the ready. Many of the wooden houses you'll see in the sandy streets around here have no running water, so the public baths are not a luxury but a necessity. The Vorstadt's is one of the better pirtis in the city -- so pay your lats, get steamy, and get thrashed with birch branches!

    For��tates pirts.
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    Šuņezers and Poguļanka

    by daugavpilietis Written Nov 5, 2005

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    There are eight lakes within the city limits of Daugavpils. Šuņezers (often written as Šūnezers or in other variants) lies between the Vorstadt and the Fortress, and just beyond it is another village-like neighborhood called Viduspoguļanka. There is a unique wooden Orthodox church at the old military cemetery in Poguļanka, and it's a pleasant place to wander.

    ��uņezers, Poguļanka beyond.
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    Jaunā Forštate

    by daugavpilietis Written Nov 5, 2005

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    The official name for the Soviet-era nightmare beyond the Old Vorstadt is the New Vorstadt, but most everybody still calls the area "Pervomaiskaya" -- May Day was the name of the "microregion" prior to the restoration of independence. This is Golden Hill -- at the end of Zeltkalna iela -- where many of the city's Gypsies were murdered during the Holocaust.

    Pervomaiskaya. At Golden Hill.

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    The Church of the Sacred Heart

    by daugavpilietis Written Nov 5, 2005

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    A new Catholic church is being built at Baložu iela 3 in the Vorstadt. According to the local Church, 60% of the Catholics in Daugavpils are ethnic Poles, 30% are ethnic Latvians, and 10% are ethnic Belarusians -- in reality, perhaps 30% of the children baptized here are from mixed marriages and most of them are Russophones (and they are mostly counted as Poles). Masses are held in Polish and the Latgalian dialect of Latvian, and Russian is sometimes used on major holy days.

    The Catholic church in the Vorstadt.
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    The Church of Saints Peter and Paul

    by daugavpilietis Updated Nov 4, 2005

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    The Vorstadt's Orthodox church is currently being restored (the number of churches being refurbished or built in the city is remarkable, and it follows decades of destruction -- the Aleksandr Nevsky Cathedral [at Pumpura, formerly Nevsky, Square] was blown up by the Soviets in 1969, for example, the Lutheran church was truned into a boxing ring and suffered a blaze, and the Catholic church in the Center nearly suffered the same fate as the Nevsky Cathedral). There are approximately 25 000 members in the six Orthodox congregations of Daugavpils (the number is not that different from their numbers before the war -- 26 000 in 1935... ca. 60% of them ethnic Russians). The Latvian Orthodox Church during the first period of independence was independent, but today it is part of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    The Vorstadt Orthodox church.
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    The Old Vorstadt Old Believers' Prayer Hall

    by daugavpilietis Written Nov 4, 2005

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    An Old Believers' church in Vecā Forštate (in Līksnas iela between Aveņu and Šūņu ielas, near Šūņezers, the lake separating the Vorstadt from Poguļanka and the Fortress) probably existed already in the 18th C, before the Fortress was built (the first Old Believers' meeting house was built in what is now Grīva in 1660), but the church (called Nikolo-Pokrovsk) resembled a simple log house since even in 1889 the Old Believers were prevented from erecting a cross by the Orthodox Russian Empire. A wooden tower with four bells was finally built in 1905, and after Latvia became independent the current 18-meter tower replaced it. Father Timofey Kudryashov drew attention to this church in 1996, when he claimed to see Jesus weeping on the 400-year-old crucifix within.

    The Vorstadt Old Believers' House of Prayer. Līksnas iela. The entrance to the house of worship. From Zeltkalna iela.
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    Vecā Forštate

    by daugavpilietis Updated Nov 4, 2005

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    Vecā Forštate (The Old Vorstadt or "Suburb") was built up when the old city was razed to build the Fortress -- most of Daugavpils' early 19th C population lived here; others were transferred from what is now the Fortress to the Esplanāde in 1826, but that neighborhood was almost entirely rebuilt (in the Soviet lack of style) during the occupation. Thus the Old Vorstadt contains some of the oldest buildings in the city, though the great landmarks like the St. Petersburg Station were destroyed in the wars.

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Daugavpils Off The Beaten Path

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