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Relax in castles and manor houses
Latvian castles and manor houses are not merely exciting sightseeing objects: they are also places where you can find unforgettable and unhurried relaxation or spend exhilarating days and nights pursuing a vast array of activities.
The offerings of castles and manors are broad: from crossbow shooting or even cannon-shooting, to medieval-style weddings, to even encountering a castle ghost. Is there anyone who does not know Baron Münchhausen, the famous liar who only told the truth? He is a real historic individual who resided at the Dunte Manor, and his double still lives there. The Dunte Manor now houses a Münchhausen museum, which not only contains an interesting collection of exhibits about the famous liar, but also offers wedding celebrations with the blessing of the baron himself or a chance to go wild on the largest theme boat in the Baltics.
It stretches 30 metres in length and 4.5 metres in width, while the mast bearing Münchhausen’s standard rises 15 metres high. There are three children’s slides, two sliding pipes, four bridges, five swings, six barrels for climbing through and ten cannons here. Four metres above the deck there is an observation platform.
Other manors, meanwhile, offer fairly exclusive recreational opportunities. The Anna Manor (in the Zaube parish) offers massages using flower oils. At the end of the treatment, you can enjoy freshly squeezed fruit juices while relaxing on a carpet of clover. Or you may wish to surrender to the revitalising powers of nature and the hands of masseurs who use milk and honey, cranberries, clay and Latvian-made organic cosmetics! In turn, the Mārciena Manor provides a very broad range of massages, spa treatments and facial procedures. A massage using Stones of Heaven or Royal Bamboo Sticks, a wine treatment entitled "Burgundy", chocolate massage – these are but a fraction of what is possible. Would you like to pursue more active recreation? The Smuku Manor (in the Remte parish) features an obstacle course: a climb up and down rope, over a tree-trunk and meandering past suspended sacks to the end of the course are only some of the challenges letting you test your speed and power.
The Turaida Castle hosts a yearly competition to determine the fastest person to dash up the 38-metre tall tower. Would you like to give bow or crossbow shooting or precision axe throwing a go? These are also entertaining activities you can engage in along the ramparts of mediaeval knights’ castles. Meanwhile, those with a thirst for knowledge can learn the secrets of ancient artisan trades. At Krustpils Castle you have the chance to make candles and tin jewellery or get busy in Grandma’s paper doll workshop. Fans of more thrilling sensations can sign up for a night tour: you might just hear the steps and laughter of the castle ghost, the Brown Lady, somewhere in the castle cellars. And, by the way, a ghost dwells in just about every castle of Latvia, their stone walls are the keepers of a multitude of legends and true tales. You can learn more about recreational activities in Latvian castles and manors and routes to see them here.