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|• Mayor||Leonīds Salcevičs|
|• Number of city council members||13|
|• Total||23 km2 (9 sq mi)|
|Population (1 January 2012)|
|• Density||1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Calling code||(+371) 652|
Jēkabpils ( pronunciation (help·info); German: Jakobstadt; Polish: Jakubów) is a city in southeastern Latvia roughly halfway between Riga and Daugavpils and spanning the Daugava River. Historic Jēkabpils lies on the left bank, in Selonia while historic Krustpils (German: Kreutzburg) lies on the right bank, in Latgale. The two cities were united during Soviet rule in 1962 under the Jēkabpils name, but retain their distinct regional character.
Jēkabpils was also formerly home to a Soviet air base.
A stone cross-castle — Cruczeborch (German: Kreutzburg) – was built in 1237 by the bishop of Rīga. Archeological excavations on the nearby Asote mound indicate that this place was a busy trading centre for the Latgalians, one of the Latvian tribes, and had been inhabited since 1,000 BC. An adjoining settlement already existed when Krustpils Castle was first built; it grew up around the castle as the village of Krustpils. The village was often destroyed during local wars, such as Polish-Swedish battles, but was always rebuilt afterward.
During the 17th century persecuted Old Believers from Russia settled along the Daugava river. In 1670 this settlement gradually growing around the Salas tavern became known as Jēkabpils (Jakobstadt in German) in honor of the Duke of Courland, Jacob Kettler, who granted it its city charter. A local legend about the town's origin states that the duke was hunting one day but became lost. At the Daugava River he simultaneously spotted a lynx underneath a fir tree as well as a town at the same time. This image of the lynx underneath a fir tree is the town's coat of arms.
In the period of Duchy of Courland residents of the town were mostly Russian Old believers, Poles and Lithuanians. Duke Jacob built small port in the town to transport goods of nearby iron manufacture. At the end of 17th. century there were anchor mint, gun foundry, lime and tar kiln and several other manufactures in the Jacobstadt. During Great Northern War town was occupied by Russians in 1704. However, after few months large battle (Battle of Jēkabpils) took place near the town. Swedish army under Adam Lewehnaupt defeated much larger Russian force and thus stopped Russian Empire from further invasion in the Duchy. After the war and plague epidemic town again prospered. Barges from Belarus imported grain, honey, tobacco, spirits, textiles etc. At the same time land transport from Friedrichstadt counted approx. 9000 cart loads in a year during second half of the 18th century. Jacobstadt was also part of the postal road from Jelgava to Friedrichstadt and further to Ilūkste. In 1764 first ferry crossing to Krustpils was opened in the town. During reign of Peter von Biron small community of German speaking craftsmen developed in the town besides Russians and Poles, however, Jews were prohibited from entering the town. In 1795 Jacobstadt like the whole Duchy of Courland and Semigallia was incorporated into Russian Empire.
In 1826 Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve made his geodesic measurements near the town. In 1834 first hospital was opened in the town. During this period also theater and library was opened and also first streets were cobbled. In 1861 with opening of Riga-Daugavpils railway through Krustpils role of Daugava and barges as a main transport decreased. However river was still used for Timber rafting.
At the turn of 20th century there were bank, insurance company, Factory of matches, steam mill, brewery, typography and several other enterprises. During First World War heavy battles was fought around the town and around 280 buildings in the town were destroyed or damaged.
In 1919 Jēkabpils became an administrative centre of a newly established Jaunjelgava district. In 1932 a sugar refinery was built in the town. In 1936 bridge was built over Daugava thus for the first Jēkabpils and Krustpils were united. During Second World War bridge was blown up and new bridge was constructed only in 1962.
Jēkabpils and Krustpils were merged in 1962 under the name Jēkabpils. During soviet period united city was home to several big factories. Among them were sewing enterprise Asote, dolomite splinter mine Dolomīts, reinforced concrete construction factory, dairy processing plant and several other enterprises. After restoration of independence of Latvia in 1991 many factories went bankrupt or producing numbers were drastically reduced.
The population of Jēkabpils town is 29,100. The two historical parts of Jēkabpils — Krustpils and historic Jēkabpils — are connected by the bridge across the Daugava River.
As of 1 January 2013, the city had a population of 25,883.
In the oldest part of the town the older buildings have been preserved.
One of the Struve Geodetic Arc original station points is located in Strūves park. In Tadenava, not far from Jēkabpils itself, there is a memorial museum to the great Latvian poet Rainis. There are also the Justine and Dignaja castle sites. The highest point of Selonia – Ormaņkalns — is in Klauce area. Between Nereta and Aknīste there is a memorial museum "Riekstiņi" of famous Latvian writer Jānis Jaunsudrabiņš.
- "Latvijas iedzīvotāju skaits pašvaldībās 01.01.204. (PDF)" (PDF) (in Latvian). PMLP.gov.lv. Retrieved April 29, 2014.