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Gauja National Park and the town of Sigulda

The Gauja National Park is located at a distance of 50 km from the capital Riga. For ages it has been one of the most favourite places for relaxation. The Park has been established along the banks of the picturesque River Gauja – the most striking river in Latvia. Beautiful forests, hills, old castles and the River Gauja with its sandstone banks and caves create unforgettable landscape and place for relaxation.

The beautiful town of Sigulda is a heart of the Gauja National Park. It prides in scenic beauty, dominated by medieval castle ruins and unspoiled nature unlike any other town in Latvia. Sigulda also is called a “Latvian Switzerland” due to the hills and valleys formed by the River Gauja.
Sigulda also has been an eyewitness of many historical events, which we still can feel from the medieval Livonian Order castle ruins, 13th century household things and ancient jewellery of the ancient Liivs’ tribe and the numerous tales and legends connected with this place.

The highlights of the tour:

The Sigulda Castle Ruins dating back to the13th century.
The 19th century Kropotkin’s Palace.

Gutmanis’ Cave is the largest cave in Latvia, it is not only a natural wonder, but also a place steeped in legends and folklore. A story claims that the Liiv chieftain Rindaugas accused his wife of being unfaithful and buried her in a steep bank of the River Gauja. Her tears turned into a stream which created the cave and the spring. The sandstone marvel still bears inscriptions from the 17th century.

Turaida Castle Museum Reserve. The reserve includes Turaida Castle and the surrounding area, and it is the largest protected heritage in the country. The construction of the red brick castle began in 1214 when it served as a fortification for the Sword Brotherhood in the Gauja Valley. The museum documents the history of the extinct Liiv tribes which once lived in the surrounding area. Climb the stairs of the old tower, and take in an astonishing view of the Gauja Valley.

The Grave of the Rose of Turaida. It is the grave of a beautiful girl who valued love higher than her own life. It lies just beyond the castle and the church. Legend has it that she was murdered by a spiteful nobleman when she refused to submit to him, and instead wished to remain true to her real love. Newlyweds visit the site on their wedding day and lay flowers in hope of experiencing the same eternal love.

Dainu kalns (Hill of Folk Songs). Stroll among the little stone people on “Dainu kalns” or ‘Folk Song Hill’ which is right next to the castle. The statues reflect characters and various aspects of Latvian folklore.