Ventspils

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Ventspils

(vĕnts`pēls), Ger. Windau, city (2011 provisional pop. 38,645), W Latvia, on the Baltic Sea, at the mouth of the Venta River. An ice-free seaport, it exports oil brought by pipeline or rail from Russia. Ventspils also has shipyards, fisheries, and varied manufactures. The city grew around a 13th-century castle of the Livonian Brothers of the SwordLivonian Brothers of the Sword
or Livonian Knights
, German military and religious order, founded in 1202 by Bishop Albert of Livonia for the purpose of conquest and Christianization in the Baltic lands.
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 and was chartered in 1314.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ventspils

 

(formerly Vindava), a city and administrative center of Ventspils Raion, Latvian SSR. An ice-free port on the Baltic Sea. Railroad lines to Riga (176 km) and Liepāja. Population, 41,000 (1970).

Major center of the fish-processing and woodworking industries, Ventspils has a cannery producing one-fourth of Latvia’s canned fish and a woodworking plant (lumber, pressed sawdust, furniture, and barrels). Other industries include a fan factory that also makes radiators, a reinforced-concrete construction components plant, a meat combine, and a dairy. The city has medical and musical schools, a folk theater, a museum devoted to the history of deep-sea fishing, and a museum of regional studies.

Ventspils was founded in 1242 and received the rights of a city in 1378. It was part of the Hanseatic League in the 14th- 16th centuries. The Convention House (completed in 1290) still stands. There are two works by the sculptor J. Zarin’ in Ventspils: a monument to J. Fabricius (1954) and one to the fighters of the Revolution of 1905 (1961).

REFERENCE

Bloka, Z. Ventspils. Riga, 1970. [Guide. Translated from Latvian.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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