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DAGDA (DAGDA)

           Dagda is a town 26 km northeast of Krāslava, on the eastern face of the Latgale Highland, at the western end of Lake Dagda. In the centre of Dagda, the monumental Holy Trinity Catholic Church (third quarter of the 18th century) rises high above the surrounding structures. Its construction was financed by the Inflantia Castellan Jan August Hilzen (1702 - 1762), whose grave monument (1767) has pride of place in the church. The building of this church has been linked with the name of the Jesuit Mihals Rota (? - 1785),who was very popular in Latgale at the time and was referred to as the “Latvian apostle.” The church belongs to the same rare group of sacral Latgale structures as Auleja Church. In other words, it is dominated by a centric cross layout while simultaneously having a slight horizontal accent. The structure has a respectable Baroque façade with two low towers on the sides. The interior features three masonry altars with Rococo sculptures of saints.
           In the 18th century, the centre of Dagda’s commercial and intellectual life was the Hilzen family manor. The manor house encircled by a large, well-tended park housed the extensive Hilzen archive, from which the previously mentioned Jan August Hilzen took materials for his research into Latgale’s history. (His extensive work "Inflanty", published in 1750, was the most complete reference source on the territory of Latgales and its inhabitants in the 18th century). In 1863 the Dagda Manor was burned down during the Polish rebellion, and with it the valuable archive was also tragically lost.

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