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The Zvārte Rock is one of the most spectacular outcrops of Devon rock formations in Latvia, set in the territory of the Gauja National Park.
The Zvārte Rock has been formed by the River Amata gnawing at the sandstone on its banks. The outcrop has two parts: on the southeastern side, further away from the Amata, there stands the 44 m high crescent shaped bank outthrust, and on the northwestern side, the Amata washes against a 19 m high rock protuberance. In total, the sandstone formation extends for about 200 m.
Several farmsteads used to stand near the Zvārte Rock: “Vieļas”, “Zvārtes”, and “Viļņi” farms were marked on the 17th century Swedish maps.
The story goes that during the great storm of 1872, a barn from Zvārtes, swept away by the wind, landed on the meadow by the Vieļas farm, where you can still see the building as renovated in1986. The old Zvārtes farm was razed to the ground during World War II, and the present day Visitors Centre is located where the farm once stood. In 1939, nature enthusiasts decided to divert the flow of the Amata away from the Zvārte Rock to save the huge sandstone bank from erosion.
Not far from the Zvārte Rock, you can see the Raganu (Witches) Meadow, the Fog (Miglas) Rock, and Forest Mother's Trail. You can take a path leading up the Zvārte bank which overlooks spectacular surroundings. From the Zvārte Rock, you can go on shorter or longer walks, following the Amata Nature Trail along the bank of the Amata. The Zvārtes Rock Visitors Centre offers the services of environment guides and activities in the company of the Zvārte Witch. Come and have your fortunes told, learn all about herbs, or go on a special Night Walk along the Amata trail.