There are several versions of the origin of the name. Most likely it’s because of the name of the first owner. The surnames Merz, Mertz, Merzen, Merzenig and Merzenich have their roots in southwest Germany, Alsace and Switzerland. And of course, they are very common there.
It’s very likely that the first owner came from one of those places and was a family member of family Mertz. Most likely those family names have their origins in the old Germanic word for the month march – Mercs.
It is also possible that the name has its origin in the old Germanic words ‘Mark’ or ‘Mare’ or in the Middle High German word ‘Merz’ / ‘merze’, which means goods, jewelry or small treasures.
Originally from the Latin word ‘merx’, which means goods. The Middle High German word ‘Merze’ is linked to the French word ‘merci’ which does not only mean ‘thank you’ but also ‘gift’.
But the origin of this name might be completely different. According to the book ‘Baltic Historical Gazetteer’ (2.Band p.389) the location was called ‘Merzepole’ or ‘Mertzepole back in 1254. That implies that the name has Livonian origin, comparable with the historic Livonian territory Metsepoli. According to the same book, our location was calles ‘Merzendorf’ back in 1702 and ‘Märzendorf’ back in 1841.
Merzendorf and it's Owners
Until 1686 Merzendorf belonged to Karl von Pfelitzer Frank. At that time Merzendorf was a one-storey wood beam building with a thatched roof. It also included a brewery, horse cart, remise, stable and hop garden
In 1686 Frank Pfelitzer sold the manor to Duke of Courland Friedrich Kasimir. He later used it as his retirement home.During a 1750 inventory of the manor a brick cellar under the house was mentioned, which still exists today. On 11 August 1786 Friedrich Georg von Lieven (1748-1800) bought the manor from Kurlands duke Peter Biron for 31000 Taler. The size of the manor at that time was 3999 akri (1480 hectare).
In 1789 the manor was rebuilt to include a manor house, a servants house and a barn. The oaken folding shutters in rococo style from this time are still intact. With the end of the dukedom of Kurland in 1795, Baldone including Merzendorf was integrated into the russian empire, as government Kurland, district Bauska.
1795 Friedrich Georg von Lieven, housekeeper in Baldone manor, renewed the fortifications and put a roof over the famous sulfer source. Friedrich Georg died in 1800. The brothers Korf purchased the Baldone manor together with the land with the sulfer source as a retirement property and began to build and institute the spa town Baldone
From 1800 until 1840 Carl Georg von Lieven (1778-1834), the oldest son of Friedrich Georg, was owner of the mansion. After his death his older sons sold the family estate Dunhof (Daugmales), but inherited the manor Merzendorf. This was administered by the third son of Karl Georg- Carl Peter von Lieven (1807-1881) and after his death by his sons Alexis von Lieven (1838-1905) and Alexander von Lieven (1843-1922).
Propably the last of Lievens family who ran the estate was Carlos von Lieven (1879-1971), son of Leo, the third son of Carl Peter von Lieven. He was however, more known as someone who managed a property in Jacobstadt (Jekabpils). In 1886 a part of the estate 720 Lofstellen (1 Lofstelle is approx. 3016 sqm) of the most beautiful forest was sold to Baron Konstantin Ungern Sternberg, owner of the estate Dunhof (Daugmales).
At the beginning of the 20th century, the second floor of the manor house was expanded with spacious rooms. A tiled stove and an open fireplace were also added. The stairs were decorated with hunting trophies.
The main facade of todays building retained its historical appearance, but the arcade gallery and balcony on the north wing of the building have been lost. A kilometer long allee lined with hundred year old linden trees lead to the manor (1896).
In the 1920s the family sold the estate and went to Germany. The ownership changed several times, the last was Wilhelm Rüdiger.
From 1939-2012 Merzendorf was a orphanage.
Schloß Merzendorf is a lovely place to stay and spend a few romantic days in the outdoors. Manager Zane Ulmane will welcome you and make your stay memorable. If you want to spend your holidays in country side near Riga, Merzendorf offers the perfect environment to relax, celebrate or work on creative projects without any disturbance.
After the last renovation Schloß Merzendorf offers enough place for up to 30 people. You can choose between several apartment on the first floor (4 bedrooms, kitchen, living room, wc/shower, for up to 10 people)or guest rooms at the ground floor (6 bedrooms, shared wc/shower), in addition to conference rooms, living rooms and a large kitchen for up to 20 people.
Schloss Merzendorf also includes a small collection of traditional craft, costumes, and museum artifacts, documenting the history of the Schloss Merzendorf, the historic regions of Kurland and Livland, and thehistory of Latvia.