|Touring in South-East Latvia|
|Tour 3: Daugavpils-Livani-Preili-Aglona||
The southern city of Daugavpils, once known as Dunaburg, has developed
by uniting the old town, between the Daugava and the railway station,
with the north-eastern part of the city, Stropu, a popular leisure area
near the Big Stropu lake. The older part of the town is known for its
19th-century buildings, and for the Daugavpils Musical and Drama
Theatre, housed in the centre's union house, built in 1937.
North of Daugavpils, just where the Dubna river flows into the Daugava, is the town of Livani, famed for its glass products; today the town has a fascinating Museum of Glass located in an old glass factory. Visit the Catholic church, dating from 1861, before continuing on to Preili, situated on the banks of the small river Preilupite, in the western part of the Latgale highlands. In Preili park, is the Preili Museum of History and Applied Arts. The Preili region itself is famed for its fine pottery and there are many examples to be had in the town. Only 12 kilometres away is Aizkalne. In the eastern side of the village is the Rainis Memorial Museum, founded to honour the famous Latvian poet Rainis, who lived there between 1883 and 1889. Nearby is the Museum of Latgale Pottery and, on the left bank of the river Jaža, you can visit the workshop and kiln of Latgale master A.Pauln to see at first-hand how local clay is transformed into the characteristic Latgale pots.
Twenty-six kilometres on is the town of Aglona which, at the end of the 17th century,developed into the centre of Catholic Latgale. The town's basilica and abbey buildings, between lakes Cirsa and Egles, were built between 1768 and 1800. The 19th-century abbey was closed in the 1960s, but was refurbished along with the basilica, for the visit of Pope John Paul II in September 1993. Every 15 August, Aglona becomes a centre of pilgrimage for those celebrating the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
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