Cozy city of Sigulda: a beautiful park and many attractions
Sigulda (accent on the first syllable) is a small town in Latvia, located 50 kilometers from Riga, founded in 1207. Fortresses and castles still rise around the city, testifying to the rich history of this region.
Beautiful landscapes (one of the main attractions — the Gauja National Park), numerous monuments of architecture and history, a sports park, a winter recreation center — all this is the city of Sigulda. Many tourists come here to see the sights. In winter, the city becomes the center of alpine skiing. After all, it is in this area in Latvia there are natural elevations.
It is convenient to get to the city of Sigulda by train or by bus from Riga. You can come for a day to see the main sights, for example, just a park, or you can stay and live here for a few days, enjoying the fresh air and feeling the unhurried rhythm of a peaceful life. You can come here in summer and winter, spring and autumn. The cozy city of Sigulda is beautiful at any time of the year.
Directly at the railway station you can contact the Tourist Information Center, where you will be provided with a map of the city and tell you what to see in Sigulda during the day, how best to explore the city, when you visit the park, there you can also make the most interesting route for you.
Turaida Castle in Sigulda is almost the same age as the city. It was founded in 1214 and was originally one of the residence of the Bishop of Riga. In 1776, the castle burned down, for a long time it was not restored. Since the middle of the last century, many expositions have been earned on the castle grounds, and concerts of ancient music are regularly held here. Tourists can walk along the walls, visit the Northern and Semicircular towers. But the Main Tower is especially remarkable, on top of which there is an observation deck overlooking the park and the surrounding area.
New Sigulda Castle
Opposite Turaida Castle stands the restored building of the New Sigulda Castle. This neo-gothic building belonged to the Kropotkin family of princes, built on the site of the ruined Old Castle at the end of the 19th century. Since 2003, the Sigulda Regional Council has been sitting in the castle.
This castle in Sigulda survived many battles and battles, siege, destruction and change of masters. At the beginning of the XVII century it was burned, since it has not been restored. Now romantics and connoisseurs of early Gothic architecture love to come here to see the surviving buildings and go to the park.
It is the largest cave in Latvia and in the whole Baltic States. Its height is about 10 meters, depth — 18 meters. At the base of the cave there is a spring with the purest healing spring water. According to legend, a certain healer Gutmanya treated patients with the help of this water. The history of the cave is covered with numerous legends, on the sandstone walls are visible gratitude inscriptions of pilgrims who have visited here.
Devil’s cave is located in the rock of the same name. It is notable for dark, almost black walls. According to legend, the walls of the cave were painted in such a color because of the breath of the devil, who was waiting for the day to come. It is forbidden to descend to the cave due to the danger of landslides, but it is clearly visible from the suspended pedestrian bridge.
Gauja National Park
The national park is located in the valley of the river Gauja and is the largest in Latvia. The park was founded in 1973, but already in the XIX century it was very popular with holidaymakers. The river valley is very picturesque and framed by Devonian sandstone cliffs. The height of some of them reaches 90 meters, pine and spruce forests grow on tops. There are a lot of lakes here, which is why the park is also called “Livonian Switzerland”.
The park contains numerous monuments of history and architecture. Among them are churches, stone settlements, castles and estates. In the park you can come and watch the life of wild animals in natural conditions, for example, roe deer, elk, wolves, foxes, bison and wild boars. Walking along forest trails takes about 2.5–3 hours.
The cable car has been operating in Sigulda since 1969 and is the only one in the Baltic States. In the outboard trailer you can overcome 1060 meters along the valley of the river Gauja (about 30 minutes one way). The views are awesome. By the way, by prior arrangement, you can take a bungee jump from the highest point of the road. The cost of this pleasure is about 40 €.
Amusement Park «Tarzan»
This open-air park is the largest such park in the Baltics. It will certainly be interesting for children and adults. Perhaps you need to come to the park for the whole day, there is so much entertainment here. You can go climbing, archery and catapult, ride a roller coaster and carousel, jump on huge trampolines, ride a cycle mobile and overcome an exciting and multi-level obstacle course. For family gatherings there are places for picnics and recreation.
Amusement Park «Forest Cat»
This park is similar to the previous one, but is slightly smaller in size and more suitable for children’s outdoor activities. This park has various obstacle courses, cable cars, swings, bridges and trampolines. In addition, you can stay in a guest house, built in alpine style, and a good sauna in the sauna.
Aerotube in the open air. This vertical tunnel, enclosed by a grid, is supplied with air at a speed of 200 km / h. Thanks to this, you can soar above the earth and feel like a parachutist. In tandem with an instructor, you will learn to fly high and perform real acrobatic stunts in a free-fall state. Flights can take children and adults of almost any build. Instructions are given before the launch into the pipe.
Sigulda Sports Center
Sigulda is the center of sports life. Here you can have a great rest for those who enjoy active winter and summer sports. For example, Sigulda Sports Center offers guests a comfortable 1.25 km long track for jogging, roller skating and Nordic walking. Here you can take all the necessary equipment for hire. Even in the center there is a giant 7-meter swing, they can feel the free fall. Everything here is done to ensure that visitors strengthen their health and enjoy fabulous views of nature.
Sliding and bobsleigh track
Hilly terrain simply contributes to the development of winter sports. At the end of the 19th century, Prince Golitsyn built the first toboggan track about 900 meters long in Sigulda. In 1986, it was improved and brought to a high engineering level with slides and turns. Since then, international sports competitions in winter sports have been held several times in Sigulda. Children and adults can visit the track daily from 9 am to 8 pm From the top platform there is an amazing view of the park and the bend of the river Gauja.
The Square of Keys was founded in 2007 in honor of the 800th anniversary of the city of Sigulda. The sculptural composition of the three keys symbolizes the unity of Sigulda, Turaida and Krimulda as historical centers belonging to the national park.
Park Reed is an amazing place. It was also opened in 2007 and is dedicated to the cane — the main souvenir of the city of Sigulda. Canes of all sizes and shapes are sold in souvenir shops, be sure to buy your elderly relatives. Initially, many residents of the town used the cane, it was the subject of a toilet and was very useful in walks in mountainous terrain.
Bunkers and Knights
During World War II, Sigulda was often attacked. Since the Second World War, bunkers have been located in the city, which have saved quite a few inhabitants of the town from bombing. Now they are closed and abandoned, but you can come close to them. And not far from them bravo stand ridiculous and motley knight-soldiers. This composition is proudly called «Knight’s parade.» The knights themselves are made of iron, stones and trees. The locals are proud of this sculpture composition and believe that it greatly adorns and complements the look of the city of Sigulda.
- Sigulda is a city created for unhurried walks. Here and there are amazing cozy streets, little squares and tiny parks. Each is unique in its own way, made and decorated with love, it is felt. The parks have plenty of benches and places for recreation. Beautiful buildings and landscaped lawns complete the overall picture. Therefore, look and take pictures, each frame will be unique.
- Almost all the shops, cafes, pizzerias are located in the center of Sigulda. Be sure to buy food and water before you go for a walk in the park. There are no stalls or bistros. Snack to get only in Krimulda estate.
- Sigulda city is famous for its many hotels. The city has both modest rooms and luxury apartments. But take care of advance booking. There are almost always many tourists, there is a risk of being left homeless.
- There are three rental bikes in Sigulda. Cost — 10 € per day.
Come to the beautiful city of Sigulda at any time of the year. You are waiting for a beautiful park, fresh air, silence and a wide variety of entertainment for every taste and opportunity.