Balvi Manor and the "Bear’s Garden"

"Lāču dārzs" (the Bear’s Garden), tempts the visitor with its great boulders, a children's play-town, a ramp for roller skaters and skateboarders, "The Love bridge", and other lovely leisure opportunities. Quite close by there is the ancient pond of the Bear Garden with its lonely little island. The distinctive orchard of the manor is encircled with a hazel alley and in the center of the orchard is a pond which had been dug by serfs.

  • Balvi Manor
  • Lāču dārzs (the Bear’s Garden)

In the 1990s, a leisure park was laid out here, featuring some of Latvia's great boulders - ominous in their primaeval grandeur. The manor house was built in the second half of the 18th century. Although it had been burnt down in 1920, it was later restored and accommodated to house a school: From 1930 it served as a gymnasium, but now it is a primary school.

Much of the manor's former glory has disappeared – gone are the columns at the entrance and the winding staircase at the back of the building. The first floor, originally only in the middle section, has been extended to the whole length of the building. The feel of the days long gone remains only to be witnessed by the extraordinarily thick walls and the cellar vaults.

The area between the building and Brīvības Iela has now been planted over. In the age of the manor there were no trees here that would screen the view over the vast orchard on the opposite side of the garden path. The orchard is half-encircled by an earthen wall and a hazel alley, which has been partly damaged due to various territorial building works.

In the centre of the garden there is a pond; when it was dug, the earth was piled up to form a mound to rise above the terrain. In the early 1990s, a spectacular leisure park was laid out here, featuring 49 boulders stacked artistically to form 23 installations.

57.131210, 27.275620
  • Languages spoken: 
    • Latvian
    • Russian
  • Guide service available
Amenities and Features: 
  • Free parking
Extra information: 
Last updated: 01.09.2014