Iecava

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For the river, see Iecava River
Lutheran church in Iecava

Iecava is a village on the via Baltica in Iecava municipality, in the Zemgale region of southern Latvia. The village has a population of around 9,500.

Although village's Latvian name has always been Iecava, internationally it was known by its German name Gross Eckau until the beginning of 20th century. It was the scene of a victory over Russian forces by Prussian troops fighting for Napoleon during his invasion of Russian Empire and was also the scene of fighting during the Second World War German retreat from the Soviet Union.

Iecava lies 40 km south of Riga and 23 km north of Bauska and was mentioned in historical documents as early as 1492.

South of the city centre lies a park around the former Iecava Estate of the Graf Pahlen family. Only the foundation walls and some yard buildings remain. The French General Marshal MacDonald, who commanded the Prussian troops who were fighting as part of the Grand Armée, occupied the Gross-Eckau castle during the Napoleonic War with Russia.[1]

The church of Iecava dates from the 17th Century but was damaged in various wars and incidents from the Battle at Gross-Eckau 7 July 1812 [2] to the Second World War and a 1972 fire.

Prominent Latvians born there include Friedrich Wilhelm Matisohn (1871-1913) and Arvīds Pelše (1899-1983).

In addition to farming, the town supports manufacturing enterprises including vegetable oil and white spirits.

References[edit]

  • Iecavas muiza. Groß Eckau. By I. Lancmanis. Edited by the Rundale Palace Museum, 2001, 72 p., 75 ill. A monographic study devoted to the history of the estate, architecture, works of art and the family of the counts von der Pahlen. Text in Latvian and German with a summary in English and Russian.

Coordinates: 56°36′N 24°12′E / 56.600°N 24.200°E / 56.600; 24.200