Slokenbeka Manor is located in Milzkalne, on the banks of River Slocene, just 5 km from Tukums. The ensemble is home to the Latvian Road Museum, it also houses a hotel and a culture centre.
Latvian Road Museum
Exhibits at the museum inform about the history of road construction and road construction machinery. In terms of scope, the museum’s collection makes it the richest road museum in not just Europe, but in the entire world. Visitors to the museum can learn how roads, through the centuries, have evolved from paths to highways, what the first log and stone roads were like, and how the first road designs were created.
Slokenbeka Manor offers several tours where visitors have the opportunity to:
- acquaint themselves with the history of the manor, learn about its former owners, economic and recreational activities, and see rooms the keys to which are in the possession of the manor’s manager at all times;
- go on the taste-tasting tour Slokenbega Manor Special, which though is rather targeted at adults;
- tours with elements of a game are offered for groups of schoolchildren.
Sampling and taste-testing
The 400-year-old cellar of Slokenbeka Manor has a very distinct atmosphere, and is a great place to sample wines from various Kurzeme wineries. At the moment, the manor offers wines from Aizpute, Kuldiga, Durbe, and Lauciena winemakers. This opportunity is offered to groups of 10 persons, the maximum number of visitors that can participate in one taste-tasting event is 80. The tour is also available for smaller group pursuant to a prior agreement and at a different price. Tours have to be registered at least three days in advance.
There is an economy-class hotel in one of the wings of the manor, where each room is dedicated to some of the Latvian roads and is decorated accordingly. There are 15 rooms with 60 beds at the hotel.
History of Slokenbeka Manor
Slokenbeka is first mentioned before 1442 as the manor of a vassal of the Livonian Order. Fortifications of the manor began after 1484 when Tukums was burnt down by a war party from the City of Riga that was at war with the Livonian Order. This is when the commandant of the Tukums Manor commenced reconstruction to make Slokenbeka a fortified manor, with the lord’s dwelling as the main building.
Slokenbeka manor has been rebuilt and had new parts added several times. The manor lost its military and defensive functions at the turn of the 18th century, and was adapted for domestic purposes.
Arrowslits in the stone walls are the earliest element of the original part of the manor surviving to this day.
German barons of eight different dynasties were the owners of the manor for over 400 years. Following the agrarian reform of Latvia in 1920, the manor was handed over to the Tukums Regional Forestry, and later on to the Road Administration. At the end of the 1990s, restoration of the manor began, and the Latvian Road Museum moved into the manor.