Latvian black? If you hear the name of it you think just about species of cows. In real, in my opinion, black here is a symbol of “black gold”, petroleum. It is proven due to the way how cow looks like in this monument.
Actually Ventspils is an important port for transportation of petroleum, gas. It was actually the main port for Baltic Sea in Soviet times. Maybe due to this here such a cow located.
Town hall square is a small surrounding in Ventspils old town, where two main buildings are St. Nicolaus church and Writers’ and Translators’ house are located. The place is famous for local people; it is the second most popular places in old town, together with Market square. Actually square name was different one (or no name), but later town hall was moved here from these days market square, so things changed.
In October 2010 the place was richly decorated by nice plants, most of them consisted of decorative cabbages.
The building was constructed in 1905, historicism style. The owner for that time was district chairman Golubevs. Ventspils museum was located here from 1945 till 2000.
Nowadays it is renovated place with nearby standing Ventspils library and monument to Janis Fabriciuss, Latvian riflemen division commanding officer (1877 – 1929).
Carillon clock tower is a new structure in Ventspils market square, it appeared here after reconstruction of 2009. When a current hour comes, clock rings as much as it is hours now. Two times per day clock gifts a special melody (at midday and midnight).
It is a nice sighseeing object in newly refurbished market square.
Sculpture of Valdemars is a nice example how recently created attributes of town could easily become main symbols. It is a place quite frequently used in Ventspils postcards; it is very famous place for taking photos.
Monument to Krisjanis Valdemars was built in 2000 by Miervardis Polis. Valdemars (1825 – 1891) was also famous in his maritime activities (besides he was educator, writer, so on), so that’s the right place for commemorating him.
The Ventspils castle nowadays is named as the most preserved and having the most modern museum in Latvia (as for 2010). Actually it is hard to agree with both, as I am not big expert of Latvia. Anyway, museum could be better.
Venstpils castle was constructed by Livonian Order in 1290. Nowadays the oldest part is tower, from 14th century added as a part of castle. This tower was used as a lighthouse for a long time.
The castle served a prison from 1832 till 1959, later, till 1983 was a quarters for Soviet army. The castle is not big one, built on a plane place. Nowadays it houses a museum about history of Ventspils.
The place is known from 17th century, in older times actually here was town hall, but not in the place where town hall square is now. Pity, but town hall here was abandoned and demolished in 1850. Place became more popular for markets.
Nowadays here you could see some nice older buildings, the market place, and modern clock tower.
St. Nicolas’ Lutheran church is the main attraction of Town Hall square. Church was constructed in 1834-1835 in Classical style and named after St. Nicolas, who is, by history, a patron of sailors and fishermen.
Church interior is quite typical for Lutheran churches – not too much adorned.
“Ship watcher” was constructed in 2002 by Rita Dobicina and Igors Dobicins. It is made of red granite, shape as a head and turned into water side. Instead of hair is water spurts. Seems it looks into ships around.
The place is known from 1904, it was run by Germans Reinks, here was Natural Sciences School located. Nowadays, from 2007, here is Passenger terminal, rebuilt also partly in modern glass style. Here you could find Tourism information centre.
Nearby is a green square with a nice monument and a ladybird figures made from flowers.
This cow figure is one of the most interesting for visitors of Ventspils, possible because cow is a tourist as well ;) Monument is 4 meters tall and 7 meters long, made as a suitcase and sticked by different signs of places, where “Cow parade” took place.
The monument was created by Pauls Sprindzans. Place is very famous of taking photos.
Fountain, named “ship of the sun” is located in the park, in New Town of Ventspils (Jaunpilsetas square). The water that is splashed by stone figures designed like ships, and it makes the rainbow when sun goes here. All surrounding here is quite natural, like a small pond; I think the essence of project was to show as less artificiality as possible.
Authors of fountain that is put here in 2001 are A. Kronenbergs and I. Berga.
The south mole is a popular place for locals to walk or cycle. It stretches for over 1000 meters from the town out to the Baltic Sea. For the real seaside feeling, walk up to the end, sit down next to the small lighthouse and enjoy the view.
The access to the walkway is not really clear. You may do so via the beach. If you come from the town center / Mednu Iela, take this street up to the end. Than, keep right, even if you have to walk for a couple of meters through a construction area. You will be back on a more comfortable looking area soon and will see the South Mole.
Ventspils is a nice, but not necessarily beautiful town. The old twon has a couple of wooden buildings, but does not have many notable buildings from past centuries. Soviet city planning can partly be blamed on it.
Today, Ventspils is trying to become a modern town and open itself more to tourists. But some less modern buildings can still be seen around. Just go further southeast from the bus station to see soviet architecture from the 60s and 70s at its best.
Ventspils’ market square is as tiny as its town hall square and located between that and the harbour. Nothing fancy, just giving you the idea that a market in a normal Latvian town has nothing to do with all the chaos at Riga’s central market.