Spanning the Daugava River in southeastern Latvia, the historic city of Jēkabpils lies on both banks, with the river snaking its way through the district for 93 kilometres. Along with the expansive Radzu Reservoir and a popular quarry lake, the river provides a water-centric lifestyle for both residents and visitors.
Well-preserved medieval Krustpils Castle houses the Jēkabpils History Museum, showcasing a Soviet Army room, the original castle cellars and an outdoor 19th century Selian farm where visitors can engage in old-fashioned crafts and household chores. Wake Park near the Radzu Reservoir sits next to Blue Flag Beach, with a quarry lake dotted by eight islands reachable by rowboat. Little ones feel the thrill of magic at Buta Forija Fairy Tale Kingdom, crossing a drawbridge from a royal palace to gnomes town, the witch kitchen and doll’s paradise.
Rental cars are available from Riga International Airport, about 193 kilometres from Jēkabpils, and major bus lines have connecting routes to and from the city. Local taxis and private minibuses are the primary means of local transportation in Jēkabpils for those without a car.
The city of Jēkabpils came to life in 1670 as a refuge for religious settlers fleeing persecution in Russia. Founded by Jacob Kettler, Duke of Courland, settlement progressed along the river’s barge route, with waggons hauling building materials and goods past the Daugava Falls.