Latvia's second most populous city, the birthplace of artist Mark Rothko, and home to Baznīcu kalns (Church Hill) where Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox and Old Believers' houses of worship coexist in harmony. Daugavpils is just 30 kilometres by road from Latvia's border with Belarus, 25 kilometres from Lithuania and 140 kilometres from Russia. One can truly speak of a geographic and cultural bridge between the East and West, and that is one of the city's strategic development goals - to be a meeting point and facilitator. As per its strategy for 2014 - 2030, Daugavpils aspires to be the “driver of the Eastern Baltics' knowledge economy and its capital of wellbeing”.
A centre for heritage and contemporary culture
The city's symbol is Daugavpils Fortress - the only 19th-century fortification of its kind in Northern Europe, which remains largely unaltered. Today, the fortress has a very different identity - it is both a residential area and home of the Mark Rothko Art Center Daugavpils, a key development broadening the city's cultural agenda. The centre hosts a permanent collection, temporary exhibitions and residency programmes, as well as conferences in its dedicated meeting rooms.
Local poet Anna Rancāne reflects on her experience of Daugavpils: “From the stones of the historical fortress to the city centre's grand Art Nouveau, to the low wooden buildings in the precincts with their intricate blue-grey shutters and geraniums on the windowsills, Daugavpils is a city with a strong, distinct sense of home. Like a guardian it makes one feel secure - a sentiment known by anyone who was born or has lived here.”
A lively regional city with access to education and job prospects
Today, just over 80 000 people live in Daugavpils, among them many students, academics and entrepreneurs. Daugavpils University offers study programmes in fields as diverse as natural sciences, languages, nursing, and cultural studies. Students can enrol in programmes such as Transport and Business Logistics at the regional branch of the Transport and Telecommunication Institute, and Psychology or Social Work at the Baltic International Academy. Graduates ensure a stable future for local businesses, many of which cater to international clients.
Not only can event organisers rely on a broad knowledge pool, but also spectacular venues such as the Mark Rothko Art Center, Latgola Hotel Daugavpils with its top floor restaurant, and the purpose-built Hotel Dinaburg Daugavpils with onsite spa. If looking for an alternative to Europe's crowded capital cities, get in touch with the local tourism information centre for a consultation!
Daugavpils City Municipality Tourism Development and Information Agency
phone: +371 65422818; +371 26444810