Latvija Tour Consultant Service

Custom Designed Tour(s) Itinerary for 
    The City of Riga – 
        Tours of Latvia Countryside – Guided or Self Guided
Are you an old castle buff lover of old churches or a love of nature? Located throughout Latvia countryside are hundreds of castle ruins or some that have been restored and are open for public tours. Some of these are Krimulda Evangelic Lutheran Church ANNO 1205, Sigulda Castle Ruins ANNO 1207, Gutmana Cave ANNO 10 000 years ago, and Turaida Church ANNO 1750 and Turaida Castle ANNO 1214.
Krimulda Evangelic Lutheran Church ANNO 1205, located at Zvirgzdiņi, Putniņi, Latvia which is between “Turaida and Ragana” and is one of the first in Livonia. It does not stand out for its luxurious exterior or interior, however the ancient history is its real treasure: in 1205 priest Alobrant built a church in Kubesele inhabited by Livs, nearby the burnt down castle of Kaupo “leader of Livs, turned to Christian faith, visited the Pope of Rome”. Now a manor house is built on Kubesele castle mound, but at the foot of it there is a hillock which is called Kaupo burial site. Those who are not interested in the ancient history of the Baltic nations can visit meditation circle, maze of Krimulda Church which is designed after the floor maze in Chartres Cathedral, France at the beginning of the 13th century.
Sigulda Castle Ruins was built in 1207 by the Brotherhood of Sward and was rebuilt in 1236 by the Livonian order. The south-western wing of the convention building was built with Gothic windows and a central entrance tower that has been preserved till today.
Located on the left bank of the ancient Gauja River valley, between the Paparžu ravine and the ravine along which the Sigulda-Turaida road passes through the valley there are the ruins of a castle built by the Order of the Brethren of the Sword.  Construction on the castle began in 1207, and three decades later, in 1236, the castle was rebuilt for the needs of the Livonian Order.  The Sigulda Castle suffered much damage during wars in the late 16th and early 17th century.  During the Great Northern War, it was burned down and never restored.  What are left there today are the south-western segment of the castle's convent building, as well as the tower of the main gate.  Beyond that is the internal forecastle, where there is an open-air stage for the annual Sigulda Opera Music Festival and other public events.  There are also impressive views of the ancient Gauja River valley, Krimulda and Turaida. 
Gutmana Cave ANNO 10 000 years ago, this is the most popular and most spectacles cave in Latvia, Ancient Cult Site. Even in 19th century here were left sacrifices to paganic deities.
Width of the cave - 12 m, maximum height of ceiling - 10 m “Highest Cave in Latvia”, volume 500 m3, floor area 170 m2., Width of entrance - 10,6 m. Level of Gauja River reached the entrance of the cave once ago. Cave has been formed by the interaction of Gauja River and spring originating from the cave. Formation started some 10 000 years ago, current look obtained some 2000 years ago. Gauja River was still flowing over the current meadows at the front of cave around 1780. During the tourism season the cave is visited by more than 1.5 million visitors.
Inscriptions on the walls: Ancient inscriptions testify that the cave was visited in old ages already. One inscription from 1564 was preserved until 1812. One guidebook from 1912 mentions one inscription from 1521 - initials HDOM and IUI 19, found on the left wall of the cave.
Nowadays there is clearly seen inscription “Anna Magdalena Von Tiesenhausen anno 1677”. There is also “Georg Conrad von Ungern-Sternberg anno 1668”. Next inscriptions are from 1810. Since the 19th century publicists are worried about this craze of inscriptions at this wonderful monument of nature and culture. Contemporary inscriptions are rare here happily.
Turaida Church ANNO 1750, Turaida wooden church is located not far from the castle in the place where ancient churches were built and where was arranged “Medieval Cemetery”. It is the oldest wooden church built by country craftsmen which survived in its place in Vidzeme. It was built in 1750 by local craftsmen therefore initially church did not have belfry. Bell was hanged between beams next to the church. Near the church there was a cemetery of baptisized Livs which is known from 13th century. Since second half of 18th century it was forbidden to bury the dead near churches in such a way cemetery gradually disappeared. Up to nowadays only one burial place has survived – it is memorial place to the girl named Maija – Rose of Turaida. Legend tells us about life of Maija, her faithful love and death. “It was in the beginning of 17th century during Polish – Swedish war. Clerk of the castle Mr. Greif found small girl whose mother was killed in the war. He adopted this girl as his own. When the girl grew up she was very beautiful and diligent girl …” What happened next you will find out when you will come to Turaida.  
Turaida Castle ANNO 1214, its name is said to derive from Toro Aida, or God's Garden in Livonian. Anyway, it is generally considered one of the most romantic places in Latvia. Was the site of the fortress of the Livonian headman Kaupo, who was the first Livonian to be christened and travel to Rome. This was destroyed during an uprising in 1212. In 1214 Bishop Albert built a stone castle on the site. Often destroyed and rebuilt during the centuries. Major reconstructions started in 1953 and continue to this day. The central watchtower is still largely original. From it one has a wide view over the surrounding forests of the Gauja national park and the river Gauja itself.
Rundāle Palace ANNO 1730, Rundāle Palace “Latvian: Rundāles pils; German: Schloss Ruhental, formerly also Ruhenthal and Ruhendahl” is one of the two major baroque palaces built in the 18th century for the Dukes of Courland in what is now Latvia, the other being Jelgava Palace. It is situated at Pilsrundāle, 12 km west of Bauska. It was constructed in the 1730s to the design of Architect: Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli as a summer residence of Ernst Johann von Biron, the Duke of Courland. Following Biron's fall from grace, the palace stood empty until the 1760s, when Rastrelli returned to complete its interior decoration.
These are only a few of the many historical castles, churches and wonders of nature located throughout Latvia countryside.
Latvian Countryside, also has located throughout its countryside thousands of nature trails both walking and bike trails.
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Revised: 07-02-2012 – 18:56:19