Entrance to historical museum of Rundale Palace

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Southern Latvia

A long snake-like strip of land between Rīga and the Lithuanian border, southern Latvia has been dubbed the ‘bread basket’ of Latvia for its plethora of arable lands and mythical forests. The region is known locally as Zemgale, named after the defiant Baltic Semigallian (or Zemgallian) tribe who inhabited the region before the German conquest at the end of the 1200s. The Semigallians were a valiant bunch, warding off the impending crusaders longer than any other tribe. Before retreating to Lithuania, they burned down all of their strongholds rather than surrendering them to the invaders.

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