Posted by: RasmaSandra | October 6, 2021

Beautiful Valmiera

In our armchair travels through Europe we’ve come to another Baltic State this one is Latvia which is located between Estonia and Lithuania. The country lies on the Baltic Sea and has a landscape of wide beaches, sprawling forests, and wide meadows. There are bustling cities and many amazing things to see and do.

Our first stop is the largest city in the historical Vidzeme region, Valmiera.

One of the oldest towns in Latvia Valmiera is a most beautiful and romantic town lying right on both banks of the Gauja River. It is located in the Vidzeme district and is a popular town which Estonians, Lithuanians, Germans and Fins make as their destination for a one-day trip. The town’s name in Latvian means “a tranquil place”.

Gauja River

The heart of the town is a bridge spanning the Gauja and above it is a medieval bastion known as the “Stork’s Nest”. There is a lot for tourists to enjoy in the Valmiera region like lots of opportunities for eco-tourism and different kinds of outdoor activities. In the winter you can find places for skiing and in the summer you can take boat trips on Lake Burtnieks.

When visiting Valmiera you’ll want to take a look at the Valmiera Drama Theater which is one of the best theaters in Latvia. There are tours available behind the scenes, you can meet with popular actors, shop at the theater boutique and relax and enjoy some coffee.

Explore Valmiera Castle Ruins and Fortification. This was a former castle of the Livonian Order that has medieval fortifications and dates back to the 13th century. You can now see the Order Castle ruins and the remains of the fortifications near the Gauja River.

St Simon Church has amazing Romanesque and Gothic style architecture. The church has 15th – 16th century burial plaques of town notables, there is a pipe organ that was built in 1886 by well-known European organ builder Friedrich Ladegast and paintings on the pulpit. The organ loft was built in 1730. There is an exhibition space in the church tower and from a viewing platform you can get great panoramic views of Valmiera.

Valmiera’s most beautiful adornment the Gauja River winds through the city in the length of 8 km and divides it in two almost equal parts. In the past it used to be an important component of the city’s economic development; nowadays the Gauja is a delight to the eye and a solace for the soul yet simultaneously it offers great possibilities for recreation.

Valmiera leaves a strong impression as a venue of cultural and sporting events; it also offers good shopping and entertainment opportunities and allows everyone to leisurely enjoy the atmosphere of cosy cafes and comfortable lodgings. Valmiera can be proud of its own higher educational establishments like Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences,

Vidzeme Olimpyc Centre

and the largest regional shopping centre in Latvia “Valleta“.

Located in the old center of Valmiera the Valmiera Museum of Regional History is not far from the old castle. The museum consists of eight houses all within the area of the Livonian Order castle ruins. The houses consist of exhibition halls, a depository, a reading room and the museum administration. This museum was founded in 1959 and is one of the most important depositories of historical valuables in Vidzeme. Here you’ll find about 60,000 artifacts, photos and historic, artistic and archaeological documents. The largest collection is paintings by various Latvian artists like Teodors Uders, Janis Kalmite, Rudolfs Voldemars Vitols and Peteris Postaza. Each year there are more than twenty artistic, thematic, historic and other kinds of exhibitions held.

You won’t want to miss seeing Valmiera Old Town. Here you can find buildings which date back to the 18th – 19th century like the Old Pharmacy, the Little House of Valters and the Postal Service Horse Station. The little streets will take you back into history. The Old Pharmacy at Bruninieku Street is the oldest wooden building in the city and the second oldest pharmacy in Latvia built in 1735 above the cellar of the Livonian Castle.

Nature lovers can enjoy the great outdoors in several different locations:

The natural and cultural history trail is 2,7 km long and starts at Burtnieku Manor Park Gate and leads you to the bird watching tower at Burtnieks Lake floodplain meadow. The trail is marked and if you wish you can get a guided tour.

Relax by Burtnieks Lake. This is the fourth largest lake in Latvia and a total of 23 rivers flow into the lake. This lake is popular with fishermen and is home to over 20 species of fish. There are six boat bases here.

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