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Daugavpils ( dt . : Dünaburg)
Daugavpils coat of arms
Daugavpils (Latvia)
Red pog.svg
Basic data
State : LatviaLatvia Latvia
Landscape: Latgale ( Latvian : Latgale )
Administrative district : Republic-city of Daugavpils
Coordinates : 55 ° 53 '  N , 26 ° 32'  E Coordinates: 55 ° 52 '30 "  N , 26 ° 32' 8"  E
Residents : 92,260 (Jul 1, 2018)
Area : 72.5 km²
Population density : 1,273 inhabitants per km²
Height : 105  m
City law: since 1582
Website: www.daugavpils.lv
Post Code: LV-5401 - LV-5422
ISO code: LV-DGV
Dvinsk 1912.jpg
Dünaburg 1912 - Photo by Prokudin-Gorski in
front: Martin Luther Cathedral in
back: Roman Catholic Church "Our Lady"

Daugavpils , German  Dünaburg ( Russian Даугавпилс , also Двинск Dwinsk ; Polish Dyneburg , also Dźwińsk , 1656 to 1667 also Russian Борисоглебов (Borisoglebow inhabitants ); in the old Russian chronicle, Russian Невгин (Newgin,000) is the second largest city ​​in Latvia with around 92,000 Newgin,000) . It is located in the southeast of the country on the Daugava River (Latvian Daugava ). Daugavpils was the capital of the historic Latgale region and has been a republic city since the districts were dissolved in 2009 .

Due to the large number of Russians who settled there during the Soviet occupation of Latvia , Daugavpils is now the largest city in Latvia and thus the European Union with a predominantly Russian-speaking population .



Daugavpils is located in southeast Latvia on both sides of the Daugava River . The vast majority of the urban area including the center are on the right (northern) bank.

The state border with Lithuania is 19 km south of the city center, the border with Belarus 27 km east.

City structure

Daugavpils is one of the nine republic cities of Latvia and is divided into 25 districts:

Neighboring communities

Since the administrative reform of 2009, the city is only surrounded by the Daugavpils district , whose administration is based in the city. Former neighboring communities that are now part of the district are:


Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Agency
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Daugavpils
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) −3.6 −2.6 2.1 10.3 17.9 21.5 22.5 21.6 16.3 9.8 3.3 −1.0 O 9.9
Min. Temperature (° C) −9.7 −9.9 −6.5 0.6 6.1 10.1 11.8 10.9 7.2 2.9 −1.4 −6.1 O 1.4
Precipitation ( mm ) 37 28 32 42 52 74 79 74 69 52 51 43 Σ 633
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Population development Daugavpils

On July 1, 2018, the city had 92,260 inhabitants. From 1970 to 2012 the population was over 100,000.

In 2011, the population of Daugavpils consisted of the following nationalities:

Demography of Daugavpils 2011

Daugavpils is now the cultural center of Latgale. Here is the Daugavpils University , a city theater and the headquarters of many national institutes and societies.


Ancient and Livonian Confederation

Plan and attempted reconstruction of the former Dünaburg of the Teutonic Order (1893)

A Latgalian settlement existed in the High Middle Ages on today's Naujiene Hill and was part of the rule of Jersika . In 1224 the area came under the control of the Teutonic Order. The place was first mentioned in writing in 1275 when a castle of the Livonian Order was built, around which the city later developed. As early as 1277, Daugavpils was besieged by Lithuanian armies for a month. The fortifications were expanded in the 14th century. The invading troops of Ivan III. took Dünaburg in 1481, but vacated the area in 1493 after a peace treaty.


In order to get funding for the war against Russia, the Order pledged Dunkirk to Poland-Lithuania in 1558 . After the division of the religious state, from 1566 on, Dünaburg was the capital of the Duchy of Livonia (Polish: Księstwo Inflanckie). Tsar Ivan IV , the Terrible, razed the castle and town to the ground in 1577. Later he built a fortress 19 km down the dune. This site was the center of a new settlement, in 1582 after the withdrawal of the Russians from the Polish King Stefan Batory the Magdeburg rights received. The Swedes did not advance to Daunaburg in the wars of the 17th century. Nevertheless, in the Russo-Swedish War, Russian troops moved into Dünaburg in 1656. They held the city they called Borisoglebsk ( Russian Борисоглебск ) until 1667. In 1677 the Livonia Voivodeship (also known as “Polish Livonia”) was established. Their voivode resided in Dünaburg. During the Great Northern War , Saxon troops were billeted there during the winter of 1700/1701 . After a plague epidemic in 1710 , the city was almost depopulated.

Russian empire

When Poland was first partitioned in 1772, Dünaburg came to Russia . More peaceful times followed, from 1802 as part of the Vitebsk Governorate . The threat posed by Napoleon prompted the construction of the citadel in 1810 . In 1812 the first bridge was built over the Düna. From 1826, today's old town center was laid out and built on according to plan.

The St. Petersburg - Warsaw road, laid out in 1836, gave the city a boost; in 1853, the first steel bridge construction in the Baltic States was built with the new Daugava Bridge. With the construction of the railway lines , Dünaburg became a center of industrialization and an important transport hub. Railway connections were established to St. Petersburg (1860), Riga (1861), Warsaw (1862), Orjol (1866) and Šiauliai (German Schaulen ) (1873).

After serfdom was abolished in 1861, more and more people moved to the city. In 1893 the city was officially renamed Dvinsk (Двинск) as part of the Russification policy . At the time, Jews made up the largest ethnic group in the city with 46%, followed by Russians with 27.5% and Poles with 16.3%. At the 1897 census, there were 72,231 people in the city. In 1905 the Russian cathedral was consecrated.

In 1912, the settlement of Grīva on the opposite southern side of the Dunes received town rights.

World War I and Republic of Latvia

After the invasion of the Wehrmacht in 1941

As the front approached , most of the industrial plants were evacuated to the interior of Russia. The headquarters of the 5th Russian Army was in Dünaburg. From December 1918 Daugavpils was part of the Latvian Council Republic in the wake of the invasion of Soviet troops . In 1920 the population was a quarter of the pre-war number.

In 1920 Daugavpils was captured by Polish and Latvian troops and became part of the Republic of Latvia due to the Peace of Riga . The urban economy recovered, but did not reach the pre-war level. In 1935 Latvians made up the largest population group with 34%. It was followed by Jews with 25%, Poles with 18%, Russians with 18% and Belarusians with 3%.

Second World War

After the conquest of the Baltic States by the German Wehrmacht in 1941, Dünaburg formed an essential base for the protection of the eastern border of the Reichskommissariat Ostland, in which the Nazi civil administration, headed by Hinrich Lohse, exercised the occupying power until it withdrew in 1944. Their aim was the rapid 'valorisation' of the occupied territories for the German war economy and the extermination of the Jews. From 1942 to 1944 Hermann Riecken was the regional commissioner of the Nazi civil administration in Dünaburg . In June 1940 the Red Army invaded Latvia. After the attack by the German Reich on June 22, 1941, the Daugava was an important natural line of defense. However, due to the coup of the Brandenburgers under Hans-Wolfram Knaak , the important Dune bridges came undamaged into the hands of the Wehrmacht . Therefore the Dünaburg citadel lost its military importance. When leaving, the Red Army burned down large parts of the city. The Jews from Daugavpils and other small towns were concentrated in a ghetto . This became the second largest extermination camp for Jews in Latvia. The main camp  340 was set up in the Mežciema district . With the advance of the Red Army in July 1944, the city again became a frontline area. In order to make the city declared a fortress defensible, the Jewish ghetto was razed to the ground, among other things. During the three years of German occupation, practically the entire Jewish population of the city was murdered. After the return of the Red Army, the 292 prisoner of war camp for German prisoners of war existed .

Latvian SSR and restored independence

During the time of Latvia's incorporation into the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1991, Daugavpils regained its old population. A tram was built as early as 1946 . The Russification of the city was vigorously pursued by the Soviet authorities. The workers in the industrial companies located there came mainly from Russia and Belarus. Important employers were chemical combines, power tool factories and locomotive workshops. In 1956 the southern Grīva was incorporated. A new bridge over the Daugava has existed since 1989.

The Daugavpils Citadel

Citadel from the air

The citadel from the 19th century is of cultural and historical importance because it is the only complex of its kind in Eastern Europe that has been completely preserved. The plan for the defenses comes from Georg Heinrich Hekel (1764–1832); the interior work in the imperial style was directed by the architect Alexander Staubert (1781–1843), who also planned many administrative buildings in the city center.

When construction work began in 1810, there was great urgency because war threatened with Napoleonic France . At times, over 10,000 soldiers and craftsmen worked in shifts. The systems were essentially completed in 1833. Daugavpils became an important garrison town thanks to the citadel .

On the left bank of the Daugava river is a fortress belonging to Vorwerk to secure both sides of the river. The facility is now used as a prison.

State criminals were incarcerated here during the Tsarist era (including the Decembrists ). Then the army of the young Latvian state and from 1940 the Soviets used the facility.

In 1941, the German occupiers set up a prisoner of war camp and a ghetto for the local Jews. 124,000 Soviet prisoners of war died an agonizing death here. In order to cover up their crimes, the surviving prisoners were locked in the church of the fortress before the Red Army marched in and the church was blown up.

During the Soviet occupation, the citadel was used by the technical department of the Red Army as a barracks and training facility for officers, partially rebuilt and supplemented with a number of monotonous prefabricated buildings as staff housing. These buildings are still in use. In the meantime, some buildings have been restored with EU funds and are used as museums and administrative buildings (e.g. police prefecture). A museum with works by the Latvian-American artist Mark Rothko , who was born as Marcus Rothkowitz in Dünaburg, has been set up in the main building.

Economy and Infrastructure


Daugavpils train station
Daugavpils tram


The airfield Daugavpils (DGP) is not yet in operation. Since 2005 the former Soviet military airfield Lociki, 12 km northeast of the city, is to be converted into the future civil airport. Due to a lack of funding from the state and the EU, this has not yet been concluded. The only international airport in the country is therefore still Riga Airport, which is about 200 km to the west . Closer are Vilnius Airport in Lithuania (160 km south) and Polatsk Airport in Belarus (160 km east).


Daugavpils is located on the following " main state roads ", i.e. high-level trunk roads :

The so-called " 1st order state roads " are actually the 2nd category of roads in Latvia. Daugavpils is due to the following:

  • P65Short connecting bar in the northeast of the city, connects A13 and A6 ( Stropi - Krauja )
  • P66Ring road in the southeast of the city ( Tabore - Laucese )
  • P67 Main road going west to the A6 at Tilti, old course of the road to Riga
  • P68 from the city bridge over the Düna (A13) in a south-east direction, to the Belarusian border at Silene.

Two road bridges cross the Düna: in the inner city area the A13 and on the western outskirts a common road and rail bridge (A14). The closest bridges over the river are 80 km downstream in Jēkabpils and 50 km upstream in Krāslava / Kreslau.


The Daugavpils station is located at the intersection of two European main routes. The Petersburg-Warsaw Railway , opened in 1862, runs in a north-south direction . a. via Pskow (Russia) and Rēzekne to Dünaburg and further south via Vilnius (Lithuania), Hrodna (Belarus) and Białystok (Poland). Coming from the north-west, the Riga – Daugavpils railway , which has been in operation since 1866, crosses here .

Further routes run to Panevėžys and Šiauliai in Lithuania and to Polazk / Vitebsk in Belarus.

The station is located on the northern edge of the city center on the Rīgas iela shopping street (Rigaer Straße). It was opened in 1861 and rebuilt until 1953 after being destroyed in the war.

There are bypasses for freight traffic in the west and north of the city and a large marshalling yard on the northern edge of the city center .

Two railway bridges, one west of the city center on the Warsaw Railway and one on the western freight bypass parallel to the A14 trunk road on the western outskirts, cross the Daugava. The bridge in the course of the Warsaw Railway was reinforced in 1932 in order to enable freight wagons weighing up to 32 t to pass through. In Latvia there are only two railway bridges over the Daugava, one that railway bridge Riga at the station Riga and one in Jēkabpils .

Local transport

The Daugavpils tram was planned right after the Soviet occupation and opened in 1946. It has three lines, a length of 27 km, tracks in the Russian broad gauge (1524 mm) and is one of three tram operators in Latvia , along with Riga and Liepāja . City buses complement the local transport network.


Daugavpils University

The Daugavpils University was founded in 1921 as a Pedagogical College, renamed Daugavpils Pedagogical Institute in 1952 and received 1993 recognition as a university.

Twin cities

Daugavpils lists the following seventeen twin cities :

city country since
Alaverdi ArmeniaFlag of Armenia.svgArmenia , Lori 2012
Babruysk BelarusFlag of Belarus.svgBelarus , Mahiljou 2012
Batumi GeorgiaFlag of Georgia.svgGeorgia , Adjara 2012
Kharkiv UkraineFlag of Ukraine.svgUkraine 2008
Ferrara ItalyFlag of Italy.svgItaly , Emilia-Romagna 1998
Hadersleben DenmarkFlag of Denmark.svgDenmark , Syddanmark 1993
Harbin Chinese peopleFlag of the People's Republic of China.svgPeople's Republic of China , Northeast China 2003
Central administrative district RussiaFlag of Russia.svgRussia , Moscow 2003
Lida BelarusFlag of Belarus.svgBelarus , Hrodna 2012
Magdeburg GermanyFlag of Germany.svgGermany , Saxony-Anhalt 2012
Motala SwedenFlag of Sweden.svgSweden , Östergötland 1998
Naro-Fominsk RussiaFlag of Russia.svgRussia , Moscow 1997
Panevėžys LithuaniaFlag of Lithuania.svgLithuania 2004
Pskov RussiaFlag of Russia.svgRussia , northwestern Russia 2006
Radome PolandFlag of Poland.svgPoland , Mazovia 1993
Ramla IsraelFlag of Israel.svgIsrael 2003
St. Petersburg RussiaFlag of Russia.svgRussia 2004
Vitebsk BelarusFlag of Belarus.svgBelarus 1998


Daugavpils in other languages

These are city names in the colloquial languages ​​of the locals or parts of them.



  • Josifs Šteimans (ed.): Latgale un Daugavpils. Vēsture un kultūra. Rakstu krājums . AKA, Daugavpils 1996, ISBN 9984-582-00-0 .
  • Genovefa Barkovska, Josifs Šteimans: Daugavpils vestures lappuses . Latgales Kultūras Centra Izdevniecība, Rezekne 2005, ISBN 9984-29-084-0 .
  • Konrad Bobiatyński: Dyneburg i Inflanty Polskie podczas wojny Rzeczypospolitej z Moskwą w latach 1654–1655 . In: Zapiski Historyczne , Vol. 70 (2005), Issue 2/3, pp. 107–123 (Polish, with a short German and English summary).

20th century

  • Henrichs Soms: Latvieši Daugavpili 20 gs. pirmaja puse . In: Ilgvars Misāns (ed.): Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Latgale. Rȩgions un identitate vesture. Conferences materiali . Zinātne, Riga 1999, ISBN 9984-9285-8-6 , pp. 75-82.
  • Irena Saleniece, Teachers as the Object and Subject of Sovietization in Latvia. Daugavpils (1944-1953) . In: Olaf Mertelsmann (Ed.): The Sovietization of the Baltic States, 1940–1956 . Kleio Ajalookirjanduse Sihtasutus, Tartu 2003, ISBN 9985-9304-1-X , pp. 197-206.
  • Geoffrey Swain: Between Stalin and Hitler. Class war and race war on the Dvina, 1940-46 . Routledge, London 2004, ISBN 0-415-54604-4 .

History of the Jewish Community

  • Boris Salmanowitsch Wolkowitsch, Anatolij Fischel, Salman Josifowitsch Jakub, Josifs Šteimans, Leonid Maksowitsch Zilewitsch: Evrei v Daugavpilse. Istoričeskie očerki ( Евреи в Даугавпилсе. Исторические очерки ). Daugavpilsskaja Evrejskaja Obščina, Daugavpils 1993–2013 (basic work, Russian), so far (2019) have appeared: Vol. 1 (1993), 2 (1999), 4 (2005), 5 (2011) and 6 (2013).
  • Boris Salmanowitsch Wolkowitsch (Борис Залманович Волкович): Evrejskie organizacii v Daugavpilse (1920–1940) . AKA, Daugavpils 1998, ISBN 9984-582-07-8 (Russian, with a short English summary).
  • Makss Kaufmans: Churbn Latvia. Ebreju iznīcināšana Latvijā . Shamir, Riga 2014, ISBN 978-9934-8494-0-4 , pp. 219-230 (Latvian).

Urban development

  • Michael Gentile: Spaces of Priority. The Geography of Soviet Housing Construction in Daugavpils, Latvia . In: Annals of the Association of American Geographers , Vol. 100 (2010), Issue 1, pp. 112-136.

Individual evidence

  1. LELB Daugavpils Mārtiņa Lutera katedrāle. In: luterakatedrale.lv. July 30, 2019, accessed April 10, 2020 (Latvian).
  2. Sākums. In: ddmd.lv. May 1, 2018, accessed April 10, 2020 (Latvian).
  3. Latvijas iedzīvotāju skaits pašvaldībās (= population figures of the self-governing districts of Latvia), status: July 1, 2018 (Latvian), p. 1, accessed on January 5, 2019.
  4. Archived copy ( Memento of March 27, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Tabula: TSG11-061. PASTĀVĪGIE IEDZĪVOTĀJI PA STATISTISKAJIEM REĢIONIEM, REPUBLICAS PILSĒTĀM UN NOVADIEM PĒC TAUTĪBAS, DZIMUMA UN PA DZIMŠANAS VALSTĪM 2011.GADA 1.MARTĀ . Data.csb.gov.lv. Archived from the original on December 25, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  6. see also: Synagogue Lāčplēša iela 39 (Daugavpils)
  7. ^ Geoffrey Swain: Between Stalin and Hitler: Class War and Race War on the Dvina, 1940-46 2004 ISBN 0-415-33193-5, page 47
  8. ^ Ulrich Herbert, Karin Orth: The National Socialist Concentration Camps: Development and Structure , Volume 1, Wallstein Verlag, 1998, ISBN 978-3-89244-289-9 , p. 483.
  9. Maschke, Erich (ed.): On the history of the German prisoners of war of the Second World War. Verlag Ernst and Werner Gieseking, Bielefeld 1962–1977.
  10. ^ Geoffrey Swain: Between Stalin and Hitler. Class war and race war on the Dvina, 1940-46 . Routledge, London 2004, ISBN 0-415-54604-4 , pp. 186-207.
  11. fortress Dünaburg Latvia
  12. ^ Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (Ed.): Official Gazette of the Reichsbahndirektion Mainz of March 5, 1932, No. 10. Announcement No. 142, p. 52.
  13. Daugavpils pilsētas dome: DAUGAVPILS. In: old.daugavpils.lv. Accessed April 10, 2020 (English).

Web links

Commons : Daugavpils  - collection of images, videos and audio files