PILTENE: Ventspils, Kurzeme Print

Alternate names: Piltene [Latv], Pilten [Пильтен-Rus, Ger], Piltenė [Lith], Piltyń [Pol]. 57°13' N, 21°40' E , 54 miles NNE of Liepāja (Libau), 12 miles SSE of Ventspils. 1900 Jewish population: about 500.

  • Pinkas HaKehilot, Latvia and Estonia (1988), p. 205: "Piltene"
  • JewishGen Latvia SIG
  • VIDEO Piltene (226KB) -Piltene is the town where Jews first settled in Latvia in the start of  XVI century. See the ruins of Old castle of local bishop, the site where the synagogue was, the cemetery where the oldest remaining tombstone date back to 1760. [March 2009]
  • The first written reference to Jews occurs in 1306 (or 1309) [decree of the ruling German Livonian master, Siegfried von Feichtwangen, forbidding any Jew to reside in the territory ruled by the Livonian Order]. Crusaders found Jews unwelcome competitors trading with farmers that decreased income of the Crusaders and the clergy. In the 17th century, when Vidzeme and Riga were under Swedish rule. King Gustav Adolf forbade Jews to engage in commerce or hold permanent residence. Only in Piltene region (sold to Magnus, the brother of the Danish king) were Jews allowed to live and work. Since 1571, Jews could acquire real estate and build or buy houses with the same rights as other local homeowners. In 1585, Piltene region passed to the Polish king and laws favorable to the Jews continued in force. Traders and craftsmen from Germany were attracted by the favorable situation to Piltene and neighbouring localities.[March 2009]

Cemetery is at 31-33 J. Matera St and dates from the early 18th century. See burial list. [January 2011]

One of the oldest and most picturesque cemeteries of Latvia, tombstones date from in the 17th or 18th century. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Kahovkas 2-12 LV-1021, Riga, Latvia

See burial list All Latvia Cemetery List [March 2009]

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January 2011 13:56