Bandava (in Latvian and Lithuanian; Latin: Bandowe) - and old Curonian land which existed in the territory of the Latvia during the late Iron Age until it was conquered and divided in 1253 by Bishopric of Courland and Livonian Order.

Eldership of Bandava

56°58′N 21°58′E / 56.967°N 21.967°E / 56.967; 21.967Coordinates: 56°58′N 21°58′E / 56.967°N 21.967°E / 56.967; 21.967
Common languagesCuronian language
2,000 km2 (770 sq mi)


It is first mentioned in the biography of Bishop Ansgar ("Vita Anskarii") written by Bishop Rimbert of Bremen (lived before 888 AD). It is also mentioned in the January 17, 1231 treaty between the Baldwin von Alna and Curonians.

In the April 4, 1253 treaty it was split between Bishop of Courland and Order of Livonia.


The country was located between Ventava, Ceklis [lv], Piemare, Duvzare [lv] and the Baltic Sea on the present territory of Ventspils district and Kuldīga district in Latvia with the administrative center near the modern-day Kuldīga.

It included some of the following villages (villae): Valtaiķi [lv], Sermīte [lv], Vepele, Libiņi, Skrunda, Jērnieki, Turlava (Lipaiķi) [lv], Alsunga, Arsene, Asene, Ursuļi, Urāle, Ardone, Pakare, Nikte, Šķēde, Snēpele [lv], Vilgāle [lv], Kormale [lv], Ķimale [lv], Īvande [lv], Tigve, Karitanke, Velži and Manestute. [1]

In the treaty of April 4, 1253, concluded by the Bishop of Courland Heinrich and the Master of the Livonian Order, the land of Bandava was divided into two parts. The north-eastern part with Kuldīga Castle near Venta river was received by the Livonian Order, but the south-western part with Aizpute and Embūte castles was further ruled by the Diocese of Kurzeme.

The settlements of Bandava referred to in the Agreement in the part of the Livonian Order (two thirds of Bandava):

The settlements of Bandava in the part of the bishop of Kurzeme mentioned in the agreement (one third of Bandava):


  1. ^ (in Latvian) Enciklopēdija Latvijas Vēsture


  • Švābe, Arveds (1938), Straumes un avoti, Rīga
  • Bielenstein, August Johann Gottfried (1892), Die Grenzen des lettischen Volksstammes und der lettischen Sprache in der Gegenwart und im 13. Jahrhundert, St. Petersburg