Sigulda Parish "Jaunbeites", Sigulda, LV-2150, Latvia
More about Sigulda
Sigulda New castle and manor gate
Turaida Castle, main tower
Sigulda Lutheran Church
Krimulda Palace and Estate
Are ticks common in Sigulda National Park?
I am planning to stay in Sigulda for a few days in August. We want to walk the trails to see the castles, explore the national park, visit the bobsled track and possibly the adventure park.
Are ticks common in the Sigulda and around? We are coming from Australia and can't get vaccinated against tick diseases. Mainly worried about my 2 year old daughter, it would be horrible if she got sick or worse.
Re: Are ticks common in Sigulda National Park?
Hi! You're welcome to Sigulda. There are many ticks in Latvia also in Sigulda. They are a part of Latvia's nature. But it isn't true that each tick has infection. Just notice special "dress-code": bright clothes (easer to notice tick if it fall to you or your children), take headdress. After walking tour comb hairs, check clothes and body (specially waist zone and armpits). That's all! I spent all my childhood in a rural area near woods and only once got a tick. It was healthy tick. :-)
Have a nice trip to and around Sigulda!
Travel Tips for Sigulda
Sigulda, a town in the Vidzeme Region
is situated in the most picturesque part of the primeval Gauja valley. Reddish devon sandstone forms steep rocks and caves on both banks of the river. Because of this, since time immemorial Sigulda has been called the Switzerland of Vidzeme. Sigulda began to flourish in the late 19th century when the Riga – Pliskau road and the Riga – Valka railroad were installed. The dynasty of the Kropotkins developed Sigulda into a recreational area that was popular throughout the Russians Empire. Convenient links to Riga led to herds of tourists. People could hike the so called “ Alpine trails” inspect castle ruins and caves, take rides in horse – drawn wagons, and ride down the Kristin family’s bobsled track.
During World War I many of the wooden buildings in Sigulda suffered serious damage. These buildings had been put up to resemble the style of structures in the Swiss Alps. During the period of Latvian independence, the baronial estate was confiscated, and the central building was turned over to the Latvian Association of Writers and Journalists, which set up a recreational facility there. After 1923 all building in Sigulda was governed by a city plan, which regulated the size of building lots, the direction in which street must run, and the establishment of parks and squares.
The Livs in the area where the Birini castle is now, and they called the region Koldeselle – “a hill of standy dunes”. Birini as such was mentioned for the first time in written documents in the 13th century, and we know about it thanks to ancient chronicles and legends. The most vivid phase in the history of the castle is associated with the rule of German noblemen in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Their baronial estate enjoyed economic and cultural growth, and the barons built all of the buildings, which today make up Birini historical complex. A graveyard dates back to 1819. While the castle itself was built in 1860. It is one of the most ornate buildings in Vidzeme from the style of Histtorism. The design was by Wilhelm Friedrich Hesse. The beautiful castle is only expanded by the extensive forest park, which was established by the same nobles. A sanatorium was housed at the castle in the mid – 20th century.
Sigulda city festival
We came on the weekend of the Sigulda City Festival, close to the Hotel Sigulda, there were several vendors selling crafts and other things and a field with dance performances.
I just missed a shot of a group of older ladies dancing and waving like Queen Elizabeth, wearing pleated silk skirts and brimmed hats. Actually they did remind me a bit of Queen Elizabeth :-)
But I did manage a shot of these sweet faced young girls, cheered on by their parents, dancing to a profanity filled Eninem song that provided my surreal moment of the day.
New Sigulda Castle
After the visitors center we headed over to the new castle, built in 1881, the former residence of Prince Kropotkin.
It didn't appear to be open for visitors, Lonely Planet says it is now used as a sanitorium.
The Turaida Rose
The only grave remaining around Turaida Church is the one of Maija, The Rose of Turaida. The grave is under lemon trees and the inscription on the gravestone says “Turaida Roze 1601 - 1620”.
The legend is that Maija, as a little girl, was found walking around on a battlefield in 1601. She was taken to Turaida Castle where she grew up and became a very beautiful woman. She was courted by many men, but she loved Viktors Heils, who was a gardener at Sigulda Castle across the gorge. They used to meet in secret in a cave halfway between the castles. A deserted Polish officer who was in love with Maija decided to abduct her and pretending to be Victor in a letter he lured her to the cave. When he tried to force himself on her in the cave Maija told him she would give him the scarf she wore around her neck. She told him the scarf was magical and protected against the sword of an enemy. To prove it she wanted the Polish man to swing his sword to her neck. The scarf was not magical and Maijas head was cut from her body. The Polish man fled and later hanged himself. Viktors buried his beloved Maija and planted a lemon tree on her grave, then he disappeared.
Air tram / Gaisa tramvajs
This is one of the coolest attractions in Sigulda. The tram takes you across Gauja river valley and there are very beautiful views to both sides. The length of the cable is more than thousand meters and it takes you from Sigulda to Krimulda, and of course you can get back.
The tram way was buil in 1969, and during past years it was reconstructed. I don't know if in Estonia and Lithuania there are such attractions, but definitely in Latvia such tram you can find only here. For those who love crazy things during summer one can find here bungee jumping.
There are crowds of people in autumn weekends.
Down here I write how to reach the tram from parking where to left the car. In the transportation chapter I wrote where that parking is.
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