Iecava is a village on the via Baltica in Iecava municipality, in the Zemgale region of southern Latvia. The village has a population of around 9,500.
Although the village's Latvian name has always been Iecava, internationally it was known by its German name Gross Eckau until the beginning of the 20th century. It was the scene of a victory over Russian forces by Prussian troops fighting for Napoleon during his invasion of the Russian Empire and was also the scene of fighting during the Second World War German retreat from the Soviet Union.
Iecava lies 40 km south of Riga and 23 km north of Bauska and was mentioned in historical documents as early as 1492.
South of the city centre lies a park around the former manor of Count Peter Ludwig von der Pahlen, of which only the foundation walls and some yard buildings remain. The French General Marshal MacDonald, who commanded the Prussian troops who were fighting as part of the Grand Armée, occupied the Gross-Eckau castle during the Napoleonic War with Russia.1
The church of Iecava dates from the 17th Century but was damaged in various wars and incidents from the Battle at Gross-Eckau 7 July 1812 2 to the Second World War and a 1972 fire.
Prominent Latvians born there include Friedrich Wilhelm Matisohn (1871-1913) and Arvīds Pelše (1899-1983).
In addition to farming, the town supports manufacturing enterprises including vegetable oil and white spirits.
The Iecava is a river in Latvia. Its source is formed from several springs near the village of Daudzese in Jaunjelgava municipality. Its mouth is located 4 km below the town of Jelgava on the Lielupe river.
The Iecava river flows through Taurkalne and Upmale low land where its river banks are mainly wooded. Near the town of Iecava it crosses the Zemgale low land and it reaches Lielupe river in Tīreļi low land.
The main water source (more than 50%) for the Iecava is meltwater from melting snow, whereas water from groundwaters is minimal (4-5%); as a result the river is usually in spate in the springs and has low water level in summers.
The Iecava has around 400 tributaries (including rivers, streams and ditches), the biggest of them are:
Kuma - 6 km
Ģirupe - 12 km
Smārde - 12 km
Ģedulis - 11 km
Īkstrums - 23 km:
Sudmaļupe - 6 km
Svētupe 6 km
Dzērvīte - 11 km
Briede - 10 km
Vēršupe - 15 km
Smakupe 26 km
Jāņupe - 20 km
Biržiņa - 16 km
Misa - 108 km