Ludza (About this soundpronunciation ; Polish: Lucyn, German: Ludsen, Russian: Лудза, Ludza) is a town in the Latgale region of eastern Latvia. Ludza is the oldest city in Latvia. Ludza is the administrative centre of Ludza Municipality that is located nearby the Russian border. The population as of 2020 was 7,667.[3]

Ludza skyline
Ludza skyline
Coat of arms of Ludza
Ludza is located in Latvia
Location in Latvia
Coordinates: 56°33′N 27°43′E / 56.550°N 27.717°E / 56.550; 27.717Coordinates: 56°33′N 27°43′E / 56.550°N 27.717°E / 56.550; 27.717
Country Latvia
MunicipalityLudza Municipality
Town rights1777
 • MayorEdgars Mekšs
 • Total10.47 km2 (4.04 sq mi)
 • Land9.18 km2 (3.54 sq mi)
 • Water1.29 km2 (0.50 sq mi)
 • Total7,473
 • Density710/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Calling code+371 657
Number of Municipality council members15


Painting of Ludza Castle ruins by Napoleon Orda.

After Nikolay Karamzin, Ludza was first mentioned as Лючин in Hypatian Codex dating back to 1173 or 1177.[4] In 1399 the Livonian Order built a stone fortress atop an older Latgalian fortress and used Ludza as an eastern outpost in Livonia. Ludza Castle ruins can be visited nowadays.

Polish-Lithuanian CommonwealthEdit

After the dissolution of the Livonian Order in 1561, Ludza was incorporated to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and became part of Wenden Voivodeship. In January 1626, during the Polish-Swedish War, Ludza was captured without a battle by Sweden due to defeat of the forces of Polish-Lithuanian marshal Jan Stanisław Sapieha. Later it was recaptured by Polish forces.[5]

In 1678, Commonwealth's Sejm appointed a special commission in Grodno that had to build Catholic churches in Latgale. Year later, a commission visited Ludza and in 1687, building of the church was completed. In 1736, church was destroyed by fire.[6]

Russian EmpireEdit

After the first partition of Poland in 1772 was taken over by the Russian Empire and added to Vitebsk Governorate. Ludza received town rights in 1777 from Catherine II of Russia. During the first part of the 19th century, most of the population of Ludza were Jews (67% in 1815) and there were 7 synagogues in town.[7]


After signing of the Latvian–Soviet Peace Treaty in 1920, Ludzas apriņķis and Ludza as its administrative centre was incorporated into the Republic of Latvia.

During the World War II, on July 1941, the Germans occupied the town and kept the Jewish prisoners in a ghetto. From July 1941 until the spring of 1942, hundreds of Jews are murdered in mass executions perpetrated by Einsatzgruppen.

After Latvia regained its independence in 1991, Ludza became the administrative centre of Ludza District. On July 1, 2009, due to the introduction of the new administrative division in Latvia it became the centre of Ludza municipality.


Ruins of the Ludza Castle

Ludza Museum and Ludza Tourism Information Centre offer excursions around the town. The most visited sights are:

Several lakes offer fishing and water tourism possibilities.



Ludza is located on the main Riga - Moscow road, as a part of European route E22, and only 30 km away from the Latvian-Russian border.


Ludza Train Station is a part of the Rēzekne II - Zilupe railway line that was originally built in 1901 as a part of Ventspils - Moscow line. The current station building was built after the World War II.[8]


The children of Ludza may attend three pre-school educational institutions - "Rūķītis", "Pasaciņa" and "Namiņš". Elementary and secondary education curricula are provided by Ludza Gymnasium and Ludza Secondary School #2, as well as by Ludza Evening Secondary School. Additional out of school activities are offered at:

  • Ludza Music Primary School (music school with integrated primary school)
  • Ludza Art School
  • Ludza Children and Youth Centre
  • Ludza Sport School


As of 2020, the town had a population of 7,667, of which 4,455 (58.1%) were ethnic Latvians, 2,661 (34.7%) were ethnic Russians, 168 (2.1%) were Belarusians, 93 (1.2%) were Ukrainians, 63 (0.8%) were Poles, 24 (0.3%) were Lithuanians, and 187 (2.4%) belonging to other ethnic groups.[3]

Notable peopleEdit

Yakov Kulnev

Born in LudzaEdit

Twinning and international cooperationEdit

Ludza municipality has several cooperation partners abroad.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^; Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia; retrieved: 25 February 2021.
  2. ^; Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia; retrieved: 15 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b "ISG020. Population number and its change by statistical region, city, town, 21 development centres and county". Retrieved 2021-02-21.
  4. ^ "Карамзин Н. История государства Российского: примечание 12 к III тому". Retrieved 2021-02-21.
  5. ^ Minčonoks, Vladislavs (1961-02-09). "Ludzas pilsētas vēsture" (17 ed.). Ludzas Taisneiba. p. 4.
  6. ^ Murāns, Francis (1939-08-14). "Ludzas vēstures pēdās" (45 ed.). Daugavas Vēstnesis. p. 5.
  7. ^ Mejers Melers. Ebreju kapsētas Latvijā. Rīga 2006. ISBN 9984-19-904-5 69. lpp.
  8. ^ Toms Altbergs, Karīna Augustāne, Ieva Pētersone. Dzelzceļi Latvijā. Rīga : Jumava, 2009, 106. lpp. ISBN 978-9984-38-698-0

External linksEdit