No 39137
Museum Latvia, Jelgavas novads, Jelgava

Academia Petrina and the Gederts Eliass Jelgava Museum of History and Art

The late Baroque and early Classicism building was commissioned by Duke Peter Byron of Courland and Zemgale, and it was built between 1773 and 1776 on the basis of a design by a Danish architect.  It was the castle of Duchess Anna.  The first university in Latvia, Academia Petrina was established here in 1775 and named after Duke Peter.  The first observatory was installed at the academy in 1772, and a high school was in the building during the age of the Russian Empire.  Among graduates are distinguished Latvians such as Krišjānis Barons, Jānis Alunāns and Jānis Čakste, as well as the Lithuanian Antanas Smetona.  The Jelgava Museum of History and Art took over the building in 1952, and in 1975 it was named after the Old Master Ģederts Eliass (1887-1975).  The exhibition speaks to the history of the city and surrounding area during and after the period of the Duchy of Courland and Zemgale.  Outside the impressive building are four cannons from the period of the duchy, as well as monument to Eliass that was designed in 1987 by the sculptor Jānis Zariņš.  Another monument, “Lāčplēsis and the Black Knight,” was designed by the sculptor Kārlis Jansons and commemorates the liberators of Jelgava.

Distance from countries capital city44