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The industrial heritage of Latvia in Ligatne is becoming more and more attractive for tourists


A long cherished dream of Ligatne inhabitants to show how people lived in their city 100 years ago and more has come true.

In 1814 two merchants of Riga merchants received in a rent the Ligatne watermill and a plot of land near the Ligatne River. A year later the first paper was already produced, and in the short term the Ligatne paper-mill became one of the most modern industry companies in Europe.

Recently after more than 200 years of successful work, Ligatne paper-mill machines were stopped, however, without losing the hope to turn them on again.

As a fascinating tourist attraction, the paper-mill continues to attract tourists, and interested people still have the opportunity to see then ancient plant with historic machinery.

In order to get more comprehensive view in the history of the Ligatne paper-mill, this spring there has been opened a new tourist facility - a factory workers' apartment, renovated in the historic form of the beginning of the 20th century.

The Ligatne paper-mill village is a unique 19th century urban construction monument, built as the most modern village of workers in Europe then. Today there are preserved 22 wooden houses built for the needs of workers in the late 19th and early 20th century.

In the new viewing facility - a paper-mill worker's apartment there is provided an opportunity to learn more about the family life and the rhythm of life of the paper-mill workers, which is reflected in the interior of the genuinely renovated apartment and complemented by an in-depth video.

At the end of 19th century Ligatne was considered a successful combination of economic and social interests, which made it possible to create not only a high-quality paper production plant, but also to provide good quality living conditions for the entire staff of the company.

Paper-mill workers were provided with high-quality living conditions, health care, education and recreation opportunities for that time.

Ligatne, located in the territory of the Gauja National Park, is visited annually by around 180 000 tourists. Beautiful nature is a feast to one’s eyes, and in its vicinity there is not only the historic paper-mill village, but also a lot of other places worth visiting.

Sandstone rock outcrops with 333 caves, nature trails and the Gauja former river course, the secret Soviet bunker, Vienkoču Park and the Woodcraft Museum - the rich and varied offer will delight tourists of various tastes and interests.