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May – October
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Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, - 09:00-16:00
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About Šlokenbeka manor...
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About the manor


Not far from Tukums, nestling right next to the scenic Slocene river, stands one of the most unique and original cultural monuments in Latvia – Šlokenbeka manor ensemble. It is a rare sample of a medieval fortified manor in the Baltic States that has survived to the present day. Šlokenbeka as a manor of an orders’ vassal was mentioned for the first time already before 1442. However, the time after 1484 can be considered beginning of its life as a fortified manor – the superintendent of Tukums castle, Vennemārs (Verners, Volmars) Butlars, built a fortified manor with a lord dwelling house.


Further construction history of the manor can be divided into 4 big periods:

1. 1st half of the 15th century – 2nd half of the 17th century. Manor architecture was a typical medieval stone architecture that dominated in Livonia in that time. Fortified manor was a closed, irregular quadrangle, formed by uninterrupted complex of buildings from north, east and south, but high defensive wall with loopholes from the west. The only gateway and lifting bridge over the moat connected this peculiar world with the outside world. Entrance in the buildings was possible only from the courtyard.

2. Late 17th century – late 18th century. This period can be described with reconstruction of the manor and development of its economic life, since the manor has lost its meaning for defence. In 1677, in the south and north walls of fortification two new passages were constructed that ended with gate towers. By the west wall, a barn was built in the place of a tower (reconstructed as a cart house later); several household buildings were built and reconstructed. In 1727, almost a hundred year long period of prosperity began. After the Great Northern War, growing demand for grain and food products contributed to increase of grain production. Owners of the manor engaged in production of spirit and beer that was sold in three taverns, owned by the manor, and exported as well.

3. 1st half of the 19th century – 1st half of the 20th century. In this period, agricultural production of the manor expanded and Durbe manor developed. In 1841 – 1845 a new dwelling house was built in the classicism style – two-storey longitudinal building with a vaulted basement. Outside fortifications by the new dwelling house, wash house was built, which was later reconstructed as a hen-house. All its time of existence the Šlokenbeka manor was owned by German barons, the last owner was Luiss for der Reke (1884 – 1945).

4. 1st half of the 20th century – nowadays. In this time period, the manor lost its role as an economic centre.

In 1920 the manor was nationalized, included in the state land reserves and assigned to forestry. Due to the fact that for many years the manor had no real owner, in nineteen thirties and forties several maintenance buildings of the manor ensemble perished.

After the Second World War, the manor was assigned to the main road department of the LSSR Council of Ministers to use as a road machinery station. In 1957 the station was eliminated, and on its base the Road construction district No. 5 was formed.

In the beginning of 1970ties, the centre of the manor was almost in ruins. Therefore, in 1975 renovation works of the manor began. They were performed thanks to initiative, enthusiasm and means of the road workers. In 1983/1984 the old barn was restored, and cafeteria was placed there. In the former distillery, office of the 5th Road construction district was established. The Hill cart house and the Bottom cart house were renovated too.

In the time of Awakening, renovation works subsided. However, already in 1994 a new concept for the manor use was developed. To find financial means for the manor maintenance, in the former distillery and administration building a hotel was built, and the cafeteria building was leased out to a coffee-house. In 1996, wide reconstruction works of the former lord dwelling house were started. As a result, an exhibition of the one and only Latvian Road museum was moved from Ogre to Šlokenbeka.

In 2007, when Smārde parish council engaged in the renovation works, a cultural centre was opened in the manor.

/By materials of Latvian Road Museum and V. Mašnovskis /
Šlokenbeka Manor, Milzkalne, Smārde Parish, Engure Region, LV - 3148, Latvia Phone: (+371) 6 31 82354 E-mail: muzejs@lvceli.lv