Valka Things to Do
A walk around one or two towns
Valka is the smaller part of the town straddling the Latvian - Estonian border. The photograph shows the demarcation of the border from the Estonian side looking into Latvia. The rather anonymous small stream / ditch is the cause of the disruption between the two parts of the town after the break-up of the Soviet Union - but no longer. (By the way, you don't have to jump across, there are bridges!)
The oldest building in the town is the attractive St. Catherine's church dating from the 15th century, although it has suffered a good deal since and the present building is mostly 18th century and later. Valka boasts one Art Nouveau building - the police station from 1902 - and a Cultural Centre in 1920s Neo-Classical style.
The local Court Building has been adapted from an 1849 house. As you walk up to it from the left (and just out of shot) is a European Union sign proclaiming that this is "Estonia". So a Latvian court house is in Estonia? Well, actually, no - Estonia is just round the corner but it's probably the only place they could put the sign. Borders? - you just can't trust them!
(For more about the "two countries - one town", see under "Valga, Estonia".)Related to:
- Historical Travel
At the opposite side of the Valka Town Culture Centre there is a large plain paved with concrete plates. And there is a beautiful park. In the Park there are some kind of wooden "sculptures" of windmills. These windmills do not operate, they are more like some kind of tourist attractions.
Valka Town Culture Centre
After the division of the town in 1920, the Latvian side also needed its culture centre, and in 1927 the construction of the building designed by the architect Raisters was completed. This building can be considered one of the most significant public buildings in northern Vidzeme built in 1920-40ies. The building adheres to Neoclassical forms and it is representative of the Latvian architecture of the time.
This is our bus in front of it.