Ludza district

The Local History Museum of Ludza offers a permanent exposition titled ”A Heroe’s Homecoming” devoted to a hero of the War of 1812, commander of the Grodno Hussar Regiment, General-Major Yakov Kulnev.

The museum has a very rich collection; it is arranged in the former home of General Kulnev, a hero of the Napoleonic Wars. The museum features materials on the history of the district along with the works by local craftsmen and artists.

The museum has permanent displays: ancient history, a nature exposition with stuffed animals, and Kulnev’s Memorial Room. Three more exhibitions can be viewed here – paintings by V. Kalvāns, a collection of mittens, and embroidered blankets by I. Priguns. Excursions and interesting educational programmes are offered to school-children and families.

56"33'2 27"43'33
56.550568, 27.725843
  • Languages spoken: 
    • English
    • Latvian
    • Russian
  • Admission fee: 
  • Payment methods: 
    • Cash
  • Creative workshops
  • Exhibitions
  • Guide service available
  • Themed events
Amenities and Features: 
  • Free parking
  • WC
Working Hours: 

Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri 9:00 – 17:00
Sat 10:00 – 17:00

Last updated: 01.09.2014

Holidays in a cosy log cottage on the shore of Lake Nirzas, 24 km from Ludza. DBL and TWIN rooms, a living room with a kitchen corner.

  • Bicycle rental
  • Boat rental
  • Campfire place
  • Fishing
  • Internet
  • Optional meals
  • Sauna
Quality grade: 
Eco-label "Green certificate": 
Member of Rural Tourism Association "Lauku ceļotājs": 
The host of the year: 

A full of surprises nature and history trail, which is made by pupils and can be walked with the help of the young guides.

Salnava Manor:  A complex of an 18th century manor with a partly remaining original structure, including a cultivated park with water reservoirs and a large stone and a stone chapel.The manor is the beginning of the route "Salnava throughout the times".Salnava St.John’s – the voice in the wilderness - Catholic church:The legendary church was built in 1770 and is under state protection.It was built on a small hill in a gothic style from red bricks.

An estate built in 19th century, with a vast park on Panu Islet in Lake Istras. Rare species of trees had been planted in the park, and grey herons introduced. The largest lake from those which encircle Vecslabada, and the surrounding landscapes is a complex nature reserve.

This scenic area is part of the Ezernieki Protected Landscape Area. The estate was famous for its outstanding gardener and evening gatherings for artists. Currently the territory of the manor accommodates an old people's home. Lake Istras with its islands is a nature reserve where a large number of bird species can be watched. In the area there are some of the former so-called folwarks – small Polish-owned manors - Konecpole, Annapole, e.a. An ancient castle mound, 10 m high, rises in the centre of the village of Vecslabada. On top of the hill there stands an abandoned Orthodox church.

Latgale weaving traditions are alive in the artist’s works, also handworks, splint basketry.

From her mom Anita has inherited a talent and skills in handcrafting, and now she does not only weaves, embroiders, crockets but also splints basketry. She undergoes a continuous process of improving her handicraft skills and passing over of those skills to the young. Both daughters of Anita Aljona and Natasha are needlewoman and both have stayed in Pikova. Here we can speak of the whole dynasty of needlewoman.


Tourism information and services



*route planning for groups and individual travellers around Ludza region and Latgale

* dissemination of tourism information;

* booking of accommodation;

* booking of tickets;

* travel offers abroad and around Latvia;

* organizing recreation and events;

* Internet access;

* advertisement material.

The full name of the Vecslabada or Istra Orthodox Church is the Church of the Resurrection of Christ. It was erected in 1908 and is the biggest rural Orthodox church in Latvia. The shape of its architecture resembles a cross. Unknown Object

It has six domes. The church is under state protection and is gradually being renovated by its parish. The church iconostasis dates back to 1907.

In 1399, on a hill between Big Ludza Lake and Small Ludza Lake, German crusaders built a mighty stronghold, a three storey stone structure with 6 towers and 2 foreburgs, to protect the eastern borders of the Livonian Order lands. The castle was built of gray fieldstone and red brick, and decorated with black glazed bricks.

During an excursion in the town, the guides will tell you a number of fascinating tales about an ancient stronghold, its ruler, and an enchanted princess. The ruined castle, overlooking the most spectacular panorama of the town, is a site favoured both by townspeople and visitors. The castle ruins have also become a venue for an annual event – the Great Latgalian Market. Some legends tell us about the Ludza mediaeval castle:  

In days long gone by, a major part of the Latgale land belonged to a mighty German feudal lord Volkwin. His residence stood high up on the Volkenberg (Mākoņkalns, or Padebešu Hill) near Lake Rāzna. The lord had no male heir, and after the parents' death the vast lands were inherited by Volkwin's three beautiful daughters – Rosalia, Lucia and Maria. The property was divided in three; each of the ladies had a castle built in the middle of her estate, and called it in her name. Later those names were also referred to the towns which grew around the castles. Thus Rosalia founded Rositten (Rēzekne), Lucia gave a name to Lucyn (Ludza), and Maria – to Marienhausen (Viļaka).

. Another legend says that once there were two sisters – Lucia and Rosalia. They resolved, each of them, to build a castle, and selected suitable locations some 20 miles from each other. They gathered huge piles of fieldstones and set to work. The sisters had, however, but one trowel between them. They took turns to use the tool, and kept throwing it to each other every now and then. There was one throw that Rosalia did not aim quite as well as she wished, and the trowel, flying past her sister, hit the ground with such strength that Lucia could hardly pull it out. The Small Ludza Lake was formed in the place where the trowel handle landed, and the Large Ludza Lake filled the dint made by the blade. Look carefully and you will clearly see those shapes in the present contours of the two lakes.  

However, those are but legends. The Livonian Order, in fact, built a truly impressive fortress. It had the central castle; a convent building was put up later. The castle had two foreburgs, and its high walls of stone or timber were surrounded by the two lakes and deep moats. Only the impressive ruins have survived till these days, and tower above the ancient town of Ludza.

A state-protected monument of town planning and architecture. Low-rise development, wooden housing characteristic of the 19th century Latgale; a former marketplace.

Guides from the Ludza Local History Museum will take you on a tour around this area. The borders of the historical centre are as follows: the street along the East side of Jurizdika castle mound as far as Kr.Barona iela; along Kr.Barona iela to Tālavijas iela, and from there – to Tirgus iela; the odd number side of Tālavijas iela as far as Stacijas iela; the odd number side of Stacijas iela as far as Small Ludza Lake; a vector across the lake as a continuation of Stacijas iela, as far as J.Soikāna iela; along J.Soikāna iela to the territory of the Ludza Museum and as far as the bank of Big Ludza Lake; along the bank of the lake till Odu iela; Odu iela along the eastern side of Jurizdika castle mound as far as Lauku iela.