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Peteris Strautins | profile | all galleries >> Latvian towns and villages >> Ventspils tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Ventspils

Ventspils is a rather prosperous and also beautiful town on the west coast of Kurzeme. Once it was the main port of Latvia, now it is superseded by Riga. The town has diversified its economy, developing a rather succesful manufacturing sector where output has increased roughly tenfold since 2004. It is located at the estuary of Venta river, that's how the port originated in middle ages. In late 19th century a large, modern port was build for exports of Imperial Russia. In soviet era shipment oil products and fertiliser started. Apart from still sizable logistics activities, the town earns money from producing electronics, street sweeping machines, metal parts for trucks, canned fish, timber products, house modules. There is also a regional college.

There is quite a lot to see, for example, a well restored Livonian castle. The old town is interesting, there are parts that look colourful and polished and also a district that looks more like fishing village. There is a water sports activity centre, water park, a network of bike paths, an interesting ethnographic museum and other sights. In both directions from Ventspils pristine beaches stretch for tens of kilometres in both directions. So, as there are good places for staying overnight, it is well worth a weekend trip.
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