The Aizkraukle District lies in the Daugava River Valley, its terrain consisting mostly of lowland plains. Its territory corresponds to parts of the historic Latvian regions of Vidzeme and Selonia (a part of Zemgale).
In 1224 the Aizkraukle Castle was built here by German crusaders as a base for protecting the local populace. The castle was the site of many fierce battles, as it stood in territory that was fought over by the Livonians, Poles and Russians. It has been in ruins since the late 1600s.
In modern times, the region gained in significance with the construction of the Pļaviņas hydro-electric power station in the 1960s. The town of Aizkraukle (originally called Stučka) was built at the same time to house the workers on the power station.
The Aizkraukle region is one of the most economically developed areas of Latvia, aided by being only 90 kilometres distant from Riga, the national capital.