An interesting phenomenon can be observed near the waterfall in spring and autumn when spawning fish try to get over the waterfall by jumping through the air. While the beauty of the Venta waterfall is not the wild, breathtaking beauty of the major waterfalls in the world, the Venta waterfall and the old brick bridge still create the impression of an idyllic, quiet town. Looking from the side of the bridge, it seems to be just a small waterfall. To appreciate its true beauty, one must spend at least ten to fifteen minutes there and climb down to one of the river banks.
- The Venta waterfall shrouded in mist
- Fish jumping in the Venta waterfall
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- Activities for children
- Guide service available
- Information boards
- Information point
- Access for disabled people
- Free parking
This is a dangerous place for sailing, the lighthouse, (1884) built on an artificial island beyond the 6 metre long shoal, warns about this. In spring this is an ideal site to watch migratory birds, while in summer it is a paradise for swimmers and surfers. Kolka village is proud of the smell of smoked fish, birds’ songs, and the monuments of cultural history.
The ancient Liv fishermen’s villages Mazirbe, Košrags, and Kolka are found in the vicinity. The Livonians, or the Livs, are a small Baltic Finno-Ugric nation living farther to the west, its future existence is under threat.
The small fishermen’s villages on the Kurzeme seashore welcome visitors with wharfs, net sheds, the old wooden architecture of fishing villages (starting with the 18th c.), and exhibitions of antiquities, as well as an extensive offer of countryside tourist accommodation.
At the end of the 17th century, the Dominican Order established a monastery in Aglona and built the first wooden church. After the church burnt down in 1699, a stone monastery building and the present church were built in its place in 1768 -1780. The interior of the shrine was created in the 18th-19th century, but the pulpit, the organ, and the confessional were built at the end of the 18th century.
The church houses an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and artistic treasures, including the famous icon “Our Miraculous Lady of Aglona”, which is uncovered only during religious festivals. The painting is considered to have healing powers. In 1993, Pope John Paul II visited Aglona sanctuary. Extensive renovation works in the church and improvements of the surrounding amenities were carried out prior to this visit.
On the shores of Lake Pape you can see wild horses, bisons and wild oxen and, from the specially built tower, migratory birds. The park may be seen accompanied by a guide, walking, cycling or going by boat on a specially designated route.
The park is located in the extreme SW corner of Latvia in the Rucavas and Nīcas parishes of the Liepāja District. The park’s core is formed by Lake Pape – the 12 km2 large and 0.3 m deep coastal lagoon lake and Nida bog with the adjacent territories.
Officially, the nature park was established in 2004. Nature Park "Pape" is formed by the unique and diverse mosaic of nature’s ecosystems: coastal lagoon lake and wet high peat bog with transitional bogs, sand beaches and walking dunes, coastal dry and wet forests, flood-plain meadows with the characteristic flora and fauna groups.
The trip has five stops: lake, meadow, forest, bog and dunes. Each of these tells how the beauty of nature – the landscape – is formed. This is a story about the formation of landscape under the influence of various natural processes, for instance, water, fire, wind, large herbivorous animals.
Information about Pape Nature Park is available at the Rucava TIC, by calling +371 63494766, +371 29134903 or writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The park is divided into several areas: the museum territory, landscape environment, wild nature, a classic garden and a modern area. As the aforesaid areas are united in one territory and border each other, one of the most important tasks is to achieve is that they do not compete, but rather supplement each other. The park provides an opportunity to see not only the artificially created objects, but to also see nature itself.
If you are quiet enough and look carefully during a visit to the park, you may see different wild animals. Water flowing in the ravine is like a miniature mountain river full of rapids as it rushes over stones and wind-fallen trees. One of the most interesting attractions is riding a log-boat and bathing in a log-bath. When it gets dark, evening guided walks by torchlight are available. The light forest and its many log lamps is especially ideal for evening events.
There are small log houses in the central part of the park. One of them is a romantic residential house available for stays; a woodworking workshop is set up in another house. The woodworking workshop is like a start for the future plan to build a proper museum with many buildings, as the collected exposition is sufficiently large and cannot yet be exhibited in its entirety.
Rare bird species, which are under the threat of extinction, are found here, for example, the corncrake, the eagle-owl, the little crake, the white tailed eagle, the European penduline tit, the great white egret, and others. Mērsrags Piejūras meadows are a very important nesting and rest sites for migrating wading birds and water birds. Three bird observation towers are built on the shores of Engure Lake so that visitors can have a better view of the birds in the lake, the beautiful landscape, and wild animals.
Several paths for walking have been set up – Lāčupītes path in Apšuciems, Plieņciems, Vecupe and Engure paths in Engure and the Orchid Path. More than 30 cattle are pastured in the nature park near the lake - Highlander, Charlotte, and Alpine Grey cows and Konik horses. Latvian Blue cows graze in the littoral meadows in Mērsrags. The blue cow is a very rare species, which is in fact on the brink of extinction.
The State Register of Herds contains information on 89 cows. The Latvian Blue cow is a unique species, its place of origin is considered to be the coast of Kurzeme in Latvia. Initially they belonged only to Liiv farmers but, as the entries of the cattle herd-book show, in the 1930s they were encountered also in Valmiera and Cēsis districts. These cows, typical only found in Latvia, are sturdy and endure cold, rain, and wind.
The foundations of the current building were laid by the Duke of Kurzeme Ernst Johan Biron, who in 1737 ordered the Russian Court architect Rastrelli to design a new residence in the baroque style. Rastrelli also designed the famous Rundāle Palace, the Peterhof Palace and the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. In 1919, the Jelgava Palace was burned down by soldiers of the Bermont-Avalov army troops who fought against the independence of the young Latvian Republic.
The palace was restored, but later destroyed again in the flames of World War Two. After the war, the palace was restored and now the Latvia University of Agriculture is located here. Excavations have been done in the palace, during which coins, Dutch pipes, tiles and cast-iron columns have been found. Although the palace was handed over to students, the former owners rest in peace here as well – one of the palace buildings is the Dukes’ sepulchre, where 24 persons from the Ketlers dynasty and six persons from the Biron dynasty are buried.
This is also the burial place of the first Duke of Kurzeme Gothard Ketler – the sarcophagus made in 1587 that houses his remains is the most precious object in the sepulchre. The sepulchre has been restored and is open to visitors.
The Jelgava Palace Park was started in 1817 in the place of the former palace ramparts. The park set up on the palace island has romantic canals, bridges, palace buildings and the Governor’s islet, making it one of the most beautiful parks in Jelgava. Some old trees also grow in the park – horse chestnuts, an oak and a grey aspen.
In addition, there is another unique object to be seen at the palace – a herd of wild horses on the palace’s isle. Jelgava can be conveniently reached from Riga (44 kilometres) by train, bus or car.
Several exhibitions are displayed, for example, sculptures, antique clocks, and chests, as well as special handicrafts, and other premises of the medieval castle. Various paintings are displayed in the premises of the castle, as well as an exhibition which is regularly renewed. Over time, the castle has been rebuilt and expanded, but has retained its ancient aura to the present day. Originally, Ēdole Castle consisted of two parallel residential buildings which were connected by a stone wall. The gate tower was located in the middle of the southeast wall.
In 1905, Ēdole Castle was burnt down. As a result of the renovation works, it lost its Neo-Gothic character. New doors, windows, inner shutters, and other carpentry items had to be ordered anew. These are artistically very valuable with ornate hammered work consistent with the style of the premises. The restoration works also affected the household yard which was fenced in with a stone wall, and a small tower was built, which, quite probably, was named in honour of Russian Czar Alexander III.
In the 18th century a church was set up in the Castle and at the beginning of the 19th century – a prison, a school and an observation tower for port pilots, which has not survived to the present.
The Chapel of the Castle is the oldest preserved church in Kurzeme. For almost two centuries, the prison was located in the Castle. A. Austriņš (1884-1934), a poet and a participant of the Revolution of 1905, was imprisoned here, and after World War II – poet K. Jēkabsons (1879-1946), who also died here.
At present, the restored Castle houses a museum with a permanent exhibition on the history of the Ventspils Castle and the prison. Following the reconstruction carried out during the last decade, the Ventspils Museum is located in the Castle, its digital exhibition on the history of the Castle, the city and the port is considered the most modern in the Baltics.
This castle is not a replica of a specific castle mound; when erecting its protective walls and residential buildings, samples of structures found at various locations were used (Mežotne, Talsi, Rauna, Tenīskalns, Jersika castle mound, Riga village, etc.), thus creating a general, ideal-type castle mound of Baltic chiefs. Here one can view homes with small smoke rooms, potters’ and blacksmiths’ workshops, view replicas of clothing, and obtain extensive information on life in ancient Latvia in the late Iron Age. It is possible to stage an ancient Latvian wedding ritual.