Varaklani - muiza un tas saimnieki gadsimtu gaita
VARAKLANI - MANOR AND ITS OWNERS OVER THE CENTURIES
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The town of Varaklani in Latgale stands out with its several significant monuments of Classicist architecture. These are the manor palace, Catholic Church and the Borch family vault. The spacious manor park is also one of the town’s highlights. The Borch family was known in the Baltics already in the 2nd half of the 15th century. Varaklani Palace construction was initiated by M. J. Borch and designed by Italian architect Vincenzo Mazotti. The Palace is an outstanding early example of Classicism in the architecture of Latvia. The building that was constructed from 1783 to 1789 has an elongated appearance - it consists of three two-storey blocks linked by single-storey blocks. The central part of the Palace is much larger than the side blocks having just one gallery axis. The middle part of the building has very protruding risalites on the park side and the centre is emphasised by an impressive four-column portico. The courtyard façade is less splendid and plastically subdued; central risalites protrude slightly and are capped by a raised part identical to the wing blocks. Peculiar porches are still visible by all three entrances; a balcony with metalwork railings is placed over the main entrance. The façades are decorated with Tuscan order pilasters; the first floor has rustication but the friezes contain inscriptions in Latin. The Palace layout is unique in Latvia. Staircases to the second floor are located on both sides of the main block. Opposite the vestibule there is a quite small premise leading towards the terrace on the park side. The single-storey connecting parts are interesting with their small, light, rubble-decked yards. The appearance of Varaklani Palace has changed over time. In Poland there are several manor palaces similar to Varaklani with regard to the architectonic and spatial solution for instance, in Kustyn (last third of the 18th century), Walewice (1783) and in Szczawin. Murals discovered in the 1990s and later testify to the artistic finish inside the Varaklani Palace.
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