Ventspils is one of the oldest cities of Latvia. The Castle of the Livonian Order, first mentioned in historical documents of 1290, is considered to be the first building in the present territory of Ventspils.
Near the castle, that was built in an economically and strategically important place, the camp of the German colonists and later the city of Ventspils gradually formed. The coat of arms of the city dates back to 1369. The rights of the city have been indirectly mentioned in a document dated 1378. Ventspils was known as a port city during the rule of the Livonian Order – it became a member of the Hanseatic League of trading cities.
The first economic boom of Ventspils dates back to the time of the Duke of Kurzeme Jacob (1642-1682) when the city was known as the main port of the Duchy and as an important centre of shipbuilding and handwork. Dozens of trading vessels and warships were built at the time. The ships of the Duke sailed to the colonies of the Duchy in Gambia and Tobago. …