Balvi back then

Category: Balvi district
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2017 14:15

img 001In ancient times the area of Balvi was a woody, marshy and rarely inhabited terrain. Document, that first mentions the name of Balvi, holds reports by Gotards Neils provided to archbishop Wilhelm in 1549.

In the middle of the 18th century wife of Viļaka elder of the civil parish Konstancija Hilzena built a half-manor house next to Balvi Lake and thus Balvi started to form as a populated area.

At the end of the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century Balvi grew and formed into spacious manor houses and a centre of a large civil parish. On 1 April 1926 Balvi became a village, but on 11 February 1928 – the first city in the county of Jaunlatgale.

1930-ies marked a significant flourishing in the cultural, as well as the economic life. In 1930-ies Balvi was the centre of the economic and cultural life in the county.

The usual rhythm of Balvi city was interrupted on 17 June 1940, when the subunits of the Red Army entered the city. In the summer of 1941 the Soviet occupation was changed by the German occupation. In July 1944 when the German army drew back, the city was burnt down. Churches and a few buildings on the outskirts of the city remained untouched. Only 1/3 of the residents remained in the city. Ruins, debris and ashes – it was the city after the war.

Balvi – a city that has been built from anew after World War II. The initial appearance of Balvi has changed entirely. Almost no buildings built in the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century have remained.

A rapid city building and development begun in 1950, when Balvi became the centre of the newly formed Balvi district. District institutions were formed in the city. The construction of residential, public and industrial buildings was continued.

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