Jēkabpils is a city
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 in Selonia
Selonia , also known as Augšzeme , is a cultural region of Latvia encompassing the eastern part of the historical region of Semigallia...

, Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 roughly halfway between Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

 and Daugavpils
Daugavpils is a city in southeastern Latvia, located on the banks of the Daugava River, from which the city gets its name. Daugavpils literally means "Daugava Castle". With a population of over 100,000, it is the second largest city in the country after the capital Riga, which is located some...

. The Daugava River runs through the town, and the ancient valley, branches, and islands of the river are considered picturesque. The town was home to an air base during Soviet rule.


A stone cross-castle - Cruczeborch (German: Kreutzburg) - was built in 1237 by the crusading Livonian Order
Livonian Order
The Livonian Order was an autonomous Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order and a member of the Livonian Confederation from 1435–1561. After being defeated by Samogitians in the 1236 Battle of Schaulen , the remnants of the Livonian Brothers of the Sword were incorporated into the Teutonic Knights...

. Archeological excavations on the castle mound indicate that this place was a busy trading centre for the Latgalians
The term Latgalians The term Latgalians The term Latgalians (Latgalian: latgalīši, latgali, (also spelt Latgallians and sometimes known as Lettigalls, Latgolans, or Lettigallians) can refer to the inhabitants of the Latgale region in eastern Latvia in general, the ethnic Latvians of Latgale...

, one of the Latvian tribes. When the castle was built, the village of Krustpils grew up around it. The village was often destroyed during local wars, such as Polish-Swedish battles, but was always rebuilt afterward.

During the 17th century persecuted Old Believers
Old Believers
In the context of Russian Orthodox church history, the Old Believers separated after 1666 from the official Russian Orthodox Church as a protest against church reforms introduced by Patriarch Nikon between 1652–66...

 from Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 settled along the Daugava river. In 1670 this settlement gradually growing around the Salas tavern became known as Jēkabpils (Jakobstadt in German) in honor of the Duke of Courland
Duchy of Courland and Semigallia
The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia is the name of a duchy in the Baltic region that existed from 1562 to 1569 as a vassal state of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and from 1569...

, Jacob Kettler
Jacob Kettler
Jacob Kettler was a Baltic German Duke of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia . Under his rule, the duchy was brought to its greatest peak in wealth and engaged in colonization.- Life :...

, who granted it its city charter.

A local legend about the town's origin states that the duke was hunting one day but became lost. At the Daugava River he simultaneously spotted a lynx underneath a fir tree as well as a town at the same time. This image of the lynx underneath a fir tree is the town's coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...


Jēkabpils and Krustpils were merged in 1962.


The population of Jēkabpils town is 29,100. The two historical parts of Jēkabpils — Krustpils and the older part of Jēkabpils — are connected by the bridge across the Daugava River.


As of 1 January 2011, the city had a population of 26284.

Jēkabpils District

One of the Struve Geodetic Arc
Struve Geodetic Arc
The Struve Geodetic Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through ten countries and over 2,820 km, which yielded the first accurate measurement of a meridian....

 original station points is located in Strūves park. In Tadenava, not far from Jēkabpils itself, there is a memorial museum to the great Latvian poet Rainis
Rainis was the pseudonym of Jānis Pliekšāns was a Latvian poet, playwright, translator, and politician. Rainis' works include the classic plays Uguns un nakts and Indulis un Ārija , and a highly regarded translation of Goethe's Faust...

. There are also the Justine and Dugnaja castle sites. The highest point of Selonia
Selonia , also known as Augšzeme , is a cultural region of Latvia encompassing the eastern part of the historical region of Semigallia...

 – Ormaņkalns - is in Klauce area. Between Nereta
Nereta is a village in Nereta municipality, Latvia. Nereta had 1,282 residents as of 2006....

 and Aknīste
Aknīste is a town in Aknīste municipality, Selonia, in the southern portion of Latvia, near the Lithuanian border. The town is located near the river Dienvidsuseja.For the first time name Akniste had been mentioned in year 1298...

 there is a memorial museum "Riekstiņi" of famous Latvian writer Jānis Jaunsudrabiņš.

See also

  • People from Jēkabpils
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