Unspoiled Charm of Eastern Latvia & Mark Rothko

Latgale - Eastern Part of Latvia has its own special charm. It has beautiful unspoiled nature formed by forests, hills, meadows and numerous lakes in combination with a mix of nationalities and religions: Latvians, Russians, Belorussians, Polish, Jews, Old Believers and others.
One of the world's most known artists Mark Rothko was born in Daugavpils, the biggest city in Latgale and the second biggest in Latvia. In 2013 Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre was open, and one can admire some original paintings there.

The tour starts by transfer to Daugavpils, the second largest city in Latvia. Transfer time: ~3.5-4 h
Daugavpils is located on the banks of the River Daugava in the corner that borders with Lithuania and Belorussia.

After a long transfer we will start by a visit to Slutiski Old Believers' Village. 
Slutiski village reflects the traditional construction patterns of peasant housing. House decors are similar to the neighbouring Slavs, most obviously manifested in the facades, in the lavishly decorated windows, doors and pediments, which attests to original carpenter-work.The village accommodates the Slutiski Old Believers’ House - an open-air ethnographic section of the Naujene Museum of Regional History. You will learn about the history of Old Believers' in Latgale as well as their traditions and lifestyle.

Short transfer to Daugavpils.

A visit to Mark Rothko Art Centre. It is a multi-functional institution of culture, arts and education, located inside of the fortress' Arsenal building. It is a unique place in the Eastern Europe, where are located the original paintings of Mark Rothko – a great artist of the XX cent., a founder of the abstract expressionism movement, best known for his enigmatic color field paintings.
Mark Rothko (born Marcus Rothkowitz) was born in Dvinsk (today Daugavpils) in 1903 and lived here until the age of 10 when his family moved to the United States. There are numerous exhibition halls in the centre exhibiting Mark Rothko's original paintings, as well as other artists.
The fortress and Arsenal building itself is worth to visit. In 1831 Russian Emperor Nicholas the 1st ordered to start the artillery arsenal building project development. The place for arsenal building was chosen between Michail’s and Nicholas’ gates. In the year 1833rd construction works were completed. Upon construction completion the entire war artillery arsenal was transferred from Vilnius to Dinaburg (Daugavpils). Later it was transformed to Military School but after 1993 when Russian army and military shool moved to Russia, the building became abandoned.

After the tour in Mark Rothko's Centre continue by transfer to Hotel in Daugavpils.
Overnight in Daugavpils.

Morning transfer to Aglona Village and Aglona Basilica. At the end of the 17th century, the Dominican Order established a monastery in Aglona and built the first wooden church. After the church burnt down in 1699, a stone monastery building and the present church were built in its place in 1768 -1780. Nowadays every year on the 15th of August, pilgrims congregate in Aglona to mark the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven. This is one of the best known sacred sites in the world; groins vaults, arches and columns richly decorated in rococo style can be found inside. In 1993, Pope John Paul II visited Aglona sanctuary.
In Aglona you will also visit Museum of Latvian Traditional Rye Bread. You will learn about the baking process as well as will be offered to taste our traditional bread.

For centuries Latgale region has been famouse for its pottery. Therefore it is a must to visit one of Latgale's Potteries. You will learn about Latgale Pottery traditions and will see an exhibition of artist's hand-made pots, vases, dishes and bowls.

Transfer to Riga.
Late afternoon / evening arrival in Riga.