Latgale is a region with very rich and diverse culture. It was formed by many nations and ethnic groups have lived here and mutually influenced each other for centuries.
Cultural heritage of Latgale incorporates brilliant architectural monuments – cathedrals, churches, public buildings, urban ensembles, as well as rural farmsteads, typical settlements and cultural landscapes. Cultural traditions of Latgale – its language, folk songs, dances, craftsmanship (especially pottery) form a significant part of national culture of Latvia, e.g. Aglona Basilica is among major centres of Baltic Catholicism, which attracts thousands of pilgrims every year, and is a spiritual and religious centre of Latvia in some respect. Owing to strong religious traditions, many churches are well preserved and kept, as well as many objects of art, mostly icons and crucifixes. Latgale churches are not only a substantial part of spiritual life, but form a special image of Latgale that attracts tourists.
The list of cultural heritage of Latgale includes over 600 various objects: castles, mansion ensembles, churches, peasant farmsteads, urban territories. Nearly half of them are monuments of national importance. Many locations and objects have high economic value, apart from historical and cultural significance and contribute to identity and marketing of the region.
Latgale has retained many mansions and park complexes dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries as well. There are mural paintings retained in mansion ensembles with servants’ houses, stables and barns in Krāslava, Preiļi and Kameņeca. Many sites have retained parks and greenery, ponds with islets and menageries. Most archeological objects (hillforts, sites of cult and ancient burial places) are located in the central part of Latgale Heights and along the river Daugava.
Recreation or public centres are important venues of people’s meetings, various recreational and creative activities, as well as main initiators, co-ordinators and organisers of local and regional cultural events – concerts, parties and festivals.
Many Latvian outstanding writers, poets, musicians and public figures worked in Latgale. Modern active, rich and diverse cultural life, i.e. festivals, concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions, potter’s workshops and open-air events, contribute to the image of Latgale as an interesting tourist region.