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Outstanding personalities

Painter Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko, one of the most eminent painters of his generation, also is one of the leading representatives of so-called New York School. It was a group of painters that was organized in 1940 as a new common denominator in art in USA. Mark Rothko during his 50-years long painter career created new and impressive style of abstract art. His works are characterized by expressed attention to formal elements: colour, form, balance, depth, composition and scale. But Rothko denied that his paintings would be perceived only according these criteria. He explained:

Composer Oskars Stroks

O.Stroks was born on 24 December 1892. His father was a musician of theatrical orchestra. O.Stroks started to take interest in music very early. Initially he played a violin, later – a piano. At the age of 12 he entered Petersburg Conservatory where studied in piano class.

Professor Solomon Mihoels (Vovsi)

With the decision of UNESCO in March 1990 there was solemnly celebrated 100-years anniversary since the birth of eminent director, actor, thinker, public figure, artist of the USSR, professor Solomon Mihoels (Vovsi).

Rihards Zarins

Rihards Karlis Valdemars Zarins (Zarrins) was born on 27 June 1869 in Valmiera district Vilkenu municipality in family of Kiegelu manor manager. His father was Latvian and mother was German. Several years later father moved to work to Ligatne where little Rihards started to attend school. Already in his early childhood his father noticed that Rihards was trying to depict different things on paper, that’s why he pushed his little son to drawing. Around 1877 Zarini family settled in environs of Grivas where the father started his work in a manor.

Nikolajs Hagelstroms, the Mayor of the City

One of the most eminent heads of the city in 19th century. He was born in 1812. He got higher education, many years served in tsar’s army, left the service with the rank of mayor general. Worked as a head engineer in Dinaburg fortress. After leaving the service Hāgelstroms participated in public activities of the city and in 1865 he was appointed to the mayor of Dinaburg. He held a post for 11 years. For his merits in development and improvement of the city he was awarded supreme awards. N.Hāgelstroms admired theatre a lot.

Pavel Dubrovin, the Mayor of the City

He was born on 24 May 1839. He was educated in Konstantinova military school. After graduating the school he was called to the 7th degree of the official rank of the civil servant – court counsellor. The abolition of serfdom (a manifesto signed by Alexander II of Russia in 1861) and the avoidance of conflict situations with peasants and landlords furthered the establishment of the institute of peace intermediates.

Violinist Pauls Krumins

Approximately 40 years in music life of Daugavpils wasn’t imaginable without Pauls Krumins – the violinist, conductor, teacher, public figure. He was born on 5 August 1892. Studied violin playing in Berlin Music Academy and started his career of chamber musician performing in Germany, Austria-Hungary and Denmark. Since 1923 he worked in Daugavpils in Latgale National Conservatory, and in 1928 became its director. He found first Daugavpils symphonic orchestra. As an active conductor P.

Poet Rainis

Daugavpils is first childhood city of poet J.Rainis (1865-1929). Not far from Daugavpils, in Randene, Berkenele and Vasilova half a manor the poet spent his childhood. Daugavpils Secondary school No.6 (former Griva German school where the poet studied) nowadays has a name of Rainis.

Writer Leonids Dobicins

Leonid Dobychin was born on 5 (17) July 1894 in Lyutsin (nowadays Ludza) in the family of the district doctor, who soon was transferred to Dvinsk (Daugavpils). He studied in Dvinsk Modern School. In 1911 he entered Petrograd Polytechnical University and graduated it in 1916. In 1918 moved to Bryansk. He worked as a teacher and a statistician. Later moved to Leningrad.

Francis Trasuns

F.Trasuns is one of the most eminent participants of National Latgalian Awakening. He had written several textbooks as well as had published and edited several periodicals – newspaper “Auseklis” (1906-1907) and “Zemnīku Bolss” (1924-1926), magazine “Zemnīku Draugs” (1920). Trasuns took active participation in different public organizations (Association of Latvians in Riga, Musical Association of Latvians in Petersburg, etc.) and defended the idea of unification of Latgale with the rest Latvia.

Valerija Seile

She was born in 1891. V.Seile was the director of Daugavpils State Teachers’ Institute, Latgale Unification congress participant (1917), eminent public political figure of Latgalian National Awakening, the author of numerous pedagogic works. She was among those who laid the foundation for Latvian educational system. She was Latgalian clerk of the first Latvian Department of Education. Less than for a year she was the assistant of the Minister of Education. She died in 1970.

Vladislavs Locis and Jons Cibulskis

In Alejas Street there is a memorial plate which narrates that there functioned Latgalian publishing house founded in 1939 in Vilaka by V.Locis and J.Cibuļskis. In 1943 the publishing house resumed its work in Daugavpils. In period until 1944 there were published 26 books – works of the most talented Latgalian authors such as J.Klidzejs, N.Neiksanietis, M.Andzane, and others, six copies of compilation “Oluts”, newspaper “Latgolas Bolss”. After World War II the publishing house continued its work in emigration in Germany.

Pavel Melnikov

A Railway transport engineer, the first Russian Minister of Transportation, member of the Russian State Duma



Yehuda Pen



Peteris Martinsons

Ceramist, architect


Grzegorz Fitelberg

Conductor, composer, violinist

Grzegorz Fitelberg was born on October 18, 1879 in Dinaburg (Daugavpils) in a Polish Jewish family. Already at an early age the boy impresses the parents with his musical abilities, which are self-evident, as Grzegorz's father was the conductor of the Cossack regiment orchestra. It was decided in the family to send the boy to Warsaw to acquire musical education.

Stanislavs Vilcans


He was born on September 23, 1918 in Preili district in Dubes. He begins to learn craftsmanship at an early age with his father and uncle P. Vilcans, whom he considers as his teacher. From 1935 he is engaged in ceramics on his own.

Verners Vitands


Alexander Staubert


Bruno Janson

Teacher, lecturer


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Daugavpils Tourist Information Centre

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