Jul 26, 2009

400 years to the city of Bauska from LATVIA

Issue Date:10th JUL'2009.
Details:The territory around Bauska was originally inhabited by Semigallian tribes. In the mid-1400s, Bauska castle was built by Germans of the Livonian Order. The city started developing in its present day location around 1580, receiving its city rights in 1609.
After the Livonian War Bauska became part of the Duchy of Courland. The castle and city suffered heavily in the 17th and 18th centuries, under attack from Sweden in the Polish-Swedish War and the Russians in the Great Northern War. In 1711 a plague ravaged Bauska, exterminating half of the inhabitants, and war returned once more in 1812, when Bauska became one of Napoleon's army's transit point en route to Moscow.
After the wars, Bauska enjoyed a period of stability, and grew as a trade center between Riga and Lithuania. Many inhabitants were merchants or worked in ceramic-making, but there was a large brewery as well. Bauska was primarily built of wooden houses: in 1823, only 6 of the 120 houses within the city were built from brick or stone. For this reason, devastating fires were not uncommon. Historically, all social affairs had been in the hands of the German gentry. In the 1700s, however, many Jews moved to the city, and by 1850 made up half the population, diluting the heavy German influence.
The city was taken by the German Imperial Army in 1915, and roughly half the population fled. In 1916, the Germans installed the city's first electrical grid. After a short occupation by the Red Army, the Germans retook and held the city, until 1919, when the Latvian army drove the Bermontians out of Bauska for good.
From 1918 to 1940, the Latvian share of the population grew strongly in Bauska, making up 75% of the population, though the Jews and Germans still maintained a noticeable presence. In 1939, just before World War II, virtually the entire German population of Bauska repatriated to Germany, causing Bauska to lose one of its traditional ethnic populations. As part of the Holocaust in 1941, Bauska's other traditional minority was destroyed as well- the Jews. In 1944, the Red Army invaded. After six weeks of Soviet shelling and air raids, 1/3 of the buildings in Bauska were destroyed. Rubble remained in the streets until the 1950s.
Through the Soviet period, the population surpassed 10,000, and both the Latvian and Russian populations strongly increased.
Remark:This is the 1st FDC ever collected by me which was autographed by the Artist who has designed the FDC.My friend Evgeni has requested the Artist JURYS UTANS to autograph the FDC which was send to me by registered post on the issue date.Only 5 or 6 FDC was autographed and may be this is the only real posted FDC.I thanks a lot to my friend Evgenii to do such great work(This became a postal History)in her busy schedule.


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