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Street in Kandava
Street in Kandava
Coat of arms of Kandava
Coat of arms
Kandava is located in Latvia
Location in Latvia
Coordinates: 57°2′N 22°45′E / 57.033°N 22.750°E / 57.033; 22.750Coordinates: 57°2′N 22°45′E / 57.033°N 22.750°E / 57.033; 22.750
Country Latvia
DistrictKandava municipality
Town rights1917
 • Total4,029
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Calling code+371 631
Number of city council members11
Former guard tower (1334)

Kandava (About this soundpronunciation ; German: Kandau; Livonian: Kāndav) is a town in Latvia.


Livonian Crusade[edit]

Territory of the modern Kandava was inhabited by Finnic tribes until 10th century when Curonian expansion to the north started. Settlement grew around Kandava hillfort which was important centre in the curonian land of Vanema. As a settlement (villa Candowe), it is first mentioned in 1230 in a peace treaty between the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, citizens of Riga and the Curonian residents of the Abava valley.[citation needed] Local residents kept their lands but was forced to accept christianity, pay annual tribute and participate in crusading campaigns against pagans. However after several uprisings new treaty was signed between Livonian Order and Bishopric of Courland in 1253 and lands of the Vanema was partitioned. Its southern portion including Kandava became property of Livonian Order.

Livonian Confederation[edit]

A military castle was built around 1257, but it was gradually dismantled over the years and now only its foundations can be seen in a town park.[1] The oldest remaining structure is a guard tower built in 1334 and later used for gunpowder storage.[2] In 1312 Kandava castle became residence of the vogt and administrative centre of the former land of Vanema. In the 16th century there is church, school and tavern mentioned in the Kandava.

Duchy of Courland and Semigallia[edit]

In the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia Kandava became centre of Hauptmannshaft Candau. Kandava received village rights in 1625. During reign of duke Jacob Kettler several manufactures was established around Kandava. In the village there was a flax weaving mill and a gun powder mill where gunpowder was manufactured from local brimstone and saltpeter. During this period number of population in Kandava reached 1000 people. Further development was stopped by Second Northern War when swedes sacked and destroyed Kandava Castle. During Great Northern War swedes again destroyed the castle in 1703. In 1710 plague epidemic started and from 600 residents only several craftsman survived. During the 18th century Kandava Castle lost its military significance. In 1730 two schools were opened in the village and in the 1736 new church was built.

Courland Governorate[edit]

When Duchy of Courland and Semigallia was annexed by Russian Empire in 1795 there was only 439 residents in Kandava. In 1799 Jews were allowed to settle in village. During 1812 Kandava for a short period was occupied by army of Napoleon. During 19th century Kandava saw rapid development and in 1892 there were already 2100 residents in the village. As a result Kandava received limited town rights and first town council was elected in 1893. In 1904 Riga - Ventspils railway line was constructed near the town. During revolution of 1905 Kandava was taken over by local workers committee for a one month. In 1914 there were 2300 residents in the town and 4000 in the rural territory around it. There were town school, water mill, power station, limekiln and several sawmills in Kandava. After the start of the First World War 75% of the town population fled from the advancing German army to Vidzeme or further east into Russia. However during the German occupation Kandava was granted full town rights in 1917.

Later history[edit]

During Latvian War of Independence Kandava was occupied by Red Army and later by Baltic German Landeswehr. In 1920 there were 1045 residents in Kandava. During 1920s and 1930s there was a post office, telephone exchange, court and two primary schools in Kandava. After the Second World War Kandava became part of the Latvian SSR. Technical school of agriculture was established in the town in 1945. In 1963 branch of the Riga Radio factory was established in the town. Today there is several woodworking enterprises in the town.

Botanist Theophil Joachim Heinrich Bienert was born in Kandava.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ (in Latvian) Latvijas Piļu un Muižu asociācija. "Kandavas pils (drupas)". Latvijas Piļu un Muižu asociācija. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  2. ^ (in Latvian) Latvijas Piļu un Muižu asociācija. "Pulvertornis". Latvijas Piļu un Muižu asociācija. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2012.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Kandava at Wikimedia Commons