The ISSP takes place in the village of Pelči near Kuldīga in Western Latvia. Kuldīga (population 13,500) is one of the oldest and most charming small towns in Latvia, which has preserved its medieval appearance of 17th century Courlandian capital. The old German name of the town is Goldingen, and secret medieval manuscripts hint that this might have been the place where the treasures of templars were kept, giving foundation to the rise of the town castle in the 13th century.
The old town of Kuldīga with its maze of roof-tiled buildings, and the river Venta with Europe's widest (proven 250 meters wide!) waterfall are the town’s prime attractions, along with numerous cultural events geared to the inhabitants and visitors alike. In 2007, Kuldīga won the "Best Emerging European Rural Destination of Excellence”, it's historic center is on the way of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site. For more about Kuldīga, read here.
The ISSP is housed at Pelči boarding school, 8 km away from Kuldīga. Situated between the village, several fish ponds and a forest, the campus includes two school buildings with classrooms and living quarters, an old park, and an impressive 19th century Castle where most of the workshop activities take place.
The Pelči Castle manor house was built in 1904 for earl Michael von Lieven by architect W.Neuman in early Art Noveau style influenced by German neo-renaissance. The castle has played a monumentary role in the history of 20th century – being the headquarters of the Eastern front of the Nazi army during the World War II, it has witnessed the signing of the German capitulation agreement in May 1945, thus putting an end to World War II.
Facilities at the campus
The ISSP campus has everything necessary to produce a quality project and exhibition in a short time. The ISSP Digital lab is equipped with scanners and printers. Wireless internet is available in the workshop rooms and common residential areas.
On analogue vs. digital process: we strongly advise the participants to work in digital in order to save precious learning time. If you must however, it is possible to develop colour 36 and 120 mm film (C41 process) at the local lab in Kuldīga (please mind a log time of up to one day). Those who wish to develop BW film by hand, we can provide tools and chemicals at the campus. There are no facilities for analogue darkroom printing.
We also install a temporary ISSP library - participants are invited to bring books and publications to share for the duration of the event.
There is a regular transport connection between Pelči and Kuldīga by local bus, free of charge for the ISSP participants.
How to get there
Kuldīga is located 155 km from Riga. It is reachable by car (about 2 hours) or public buses that run a couple of times per day (3,5 hours). The village of Pelči is 8 km south of Kuldīga.