Passing a wonderful part of Latvia; Turaida
Turaida Travel Blog› entry 2 of 16 › view all entries
If you follow the E77 in the Vidzeme region of Latvia to Sigulda, which is the snow sport activity area in Latvia as far as I know and one of the entry points of the Cesis national park and turn towards Inciems you will be in the beautiful area arround Turaida. The area is full of valleys and creeks and the nature is really wonderful.
One of the mayor sites there is the castle which is situated on the opposite bank of the Gauja River from Sigulda. The castle is the Turaida Castle or in Latvian; Turaidas pils meaning Thor's garden in Livonian.
The medieval castle is recently reconstructed but was originally constructed in the Brick Gothic style in 1214 under Albert, archibishop of Riga, on the site of the destroyed wooden castle of the Livonian leader Caupo of Turaida.
Construction and development of the fortifications continued to the 17th century, when the castle started to lose its strategic importance. It was badly damaged by fire in 1776 and not reconstructed, and in the course of time fell into ruin.
Restoration began in the 1970s and the castle is now the centrepiece of the Turaida Museum Reserve, which also includes the oldest wooden church in Vidzeme and its surrounding Livonian cemetery, containing the grave of Maija, the Rose of Turaida; Dainu Hill, now a sculpture park celebrating Latvian folksong; and the beautifully landscaped castle grounds.