Alsunga – Capital of the Suiti
This area was first mentioned in 1231 as ancient Alšvanga in a contract between the pope’s local representative Balduin von Alna and the Curonians. The Livonian Order was here until 1561, but from 1573 to 1738 the order’s castle belonged to the von Schwerins from Pomerania. During their reign the current stone church in Alsunga was built in honour to its patron Archangel Michael and locals were converted to Catholicism. Alsunga became the Catholic centre of Kurzeme, and the people of Alsunga became the Suiti. In 1738 the von Schwerins sold Alsunga estate to the Birons; the red and white flag of Alsunga has remained as an evidence of their reign. From 1795 to 1918 the estates of Alsunga were property of the Russian state.
Alsunga is the centre of the historic Suiti region for almost 400 years. This region is known for the distinctive songs, gorgeous national costumes, traditions and beliefs. The Suiti have a specific language (dialect), food, and other traditional features that different regions have given up or forgotten long ago. Alsunga is the place where religion and traditions uniquely meet.
Nowadays Alsunga Municipality occupies an area of 191 km2 with a total of 1600 inhabitants.