Have you ever heard of the Duchy of Courland? It was a semi-independent nation that existed from 1561 until 1795 and occupied what is now the western and southern part of Latvia. Rundale Palace, one of the most outstanding monuments of Baroque and Roccoco art in Latvia, was built in the 1730s as a summer residence for Ernst Johann von Biron, the Duke of Courland and favorite of the Empress Anna of Russia. Talk of the extravaganzas of the 'new rich' of the country! Rundale Palace truly is the most extravagant building ever built for personal use in Latvia (true, the duke had a great sense of style). Don't miss to visit the Golden Hall used by the dukes as a throne room and the most beautiful rose garden in Latvia.