Turaid castle in Sigulda

Just 50 kilometers from Riga is one of the most beautiful cities in Latvia – Sigulda. The calling card of the city is the Turaid castle of the XIII century, which is considered the most famous and most visited castle of the country. It is one of the majority of tourist routes, as well as in the top 10 attractions of Latvia. We could not drive by and, as hundreds of thousands of other tourists, went to Sigulda, to see their own eyes to see the medieval castle in Turaide.

How to get to Sigulda from Riga

Turaid castle is located on the territory of the eponymous reserve 5 km from Sigulda. If you go on a car, then you need a track A2 (E77) to Sigulda, then the R8 road to Turaida. If you go to public transport, it’s a little more difficult here: you can reach the bus or train to Sigulda, and then on a taxi or bus from the Sigulda railway station toward Crimude or Inciems. You need a stop "Turaida". The road from Sigulda to Turaida will take about 10 minutes, ticket price is less than € 1.

By bus from Riga to Sigulda

From the Central Bus Station, Riga to Sigulda can be reached by buses that travel directly to the city or Cesis, Smilten, Aluksne, Gulbene or Madona. The road will take a little over an hour, the price of a ticket from 2 to 3 euros one way. You need to go out at the Sigulda stop (on the A2 route) or Siguldas AutoSta (Sigulda bus station). Buses go quite often.

By train from Riga to Sigulda

You can use railway transport and get to Sigulda by train. You need routes going to Sigulda, Cesis, Valmier or Valga, stop – "Sigulda". Ticket price About € 2.5 to one end, and the road will take about one and a half hours.

Turaid Museum-Reserve

The medieval castle is located on the territory of the Turaid Museum-Reserve, who works daily from 10:00 to 17:00 (November-March) and from 9:00 to 20:00 (May-September), in October and April – until 19:00. The price of a ticket for adult in the summer will cost almost 5 euros, schoolchildren 1.14 Euro, and for those who travel by car will have to pay more and parking – about € 1.5 for a passenger car. In winter, a visit to the Turaid castle will cost cheaper: adult ticket – € 2.85, for schoolchildren – € 0.7, parking – free. If you want to visit the castle with a guide, then this is an additional option that costs money. The price depends on the size of the group and the tongue of the excursion, and this moment is better to specify directly at the checkout or on Official website Museum.

We arrived in Turaida in the afternoon in the winter season and were almost the only visitors. It is worth saying that the reserve is not only a medieval castle, but also a rather large territory on which many other interesting objects are located.

But, of course, the main attraction of the Museum-Reserve is the Turaid Castle – it is for the sake of him in a suburb of Sigulda thousands of tourists. With him we decided to start our walk.

Turaid Castle

According to historical documents, the construction of the castle in Turaide began in 1214, at that time it was the place of residence of the edge of the edge and a strategically important military fortress.

Turaid castle was built on the site of the destroyed wooden castle of Livov. Construction and development of the defense power of the castle was conducted up to the XVI century, it was surrounded by a high stone wall and seven protective towers. In 1776, a fire happened from a careless shot, which completely destroyed all the wooden buildings of the castle. He was not restored, and the house was built in the courtyard for the owners of the Turaid estate.

In the middle of the 20th century, serious research of the ruins of the castle, archaeological excavations and recovery, which continues and today. One of the most first restored objects of the Turaid Castle became the main tower, and the observation deck appeared in it back in 1936 and is still valid.

Main Tower of Turaid Castle

The construction of a large round tower of Turaidsky Castle began in the first half of the XIII century, its main function was observing the surroundings and defense. In addition, she had to serve the last refuge in the siege of the castle, and in order to make it impregnable, the entrance to the tower was organized at an altitude of 9.5 meters (third floor level). It was possible to climb the tower on a wooden staircase, which in case of danger burned. Thus, practically stirring yourself in the tower. This entrance can be seen today – a wooden balcony that can be seen in the photo, and there is that entrance.

The main tower of five-story, and the third and fifth floor have vaulted overlaps. Despite the fact that in peacetime in the tower no one lived, there is a fireplace, which was supposed to provide warmth of people in case of siege.

The thickness of the walls of the Round Tower is from 2.9 to 3.7 meters and such a difference is due to the fact that from the most dangerous side (Northern) tower has been strengthened better.

In 1936, the ruins remaining from the main tower strengthened, and at the top were equipped with an observation platform. To visitors to be comfortably climbed, at the bottom of the site of one of the blades made the doorway through which today is the entrance to the main tower of the Turaid castle.

Restoration of the main tower began in 1953-1959. Since the upper part was lost, it was reinstalled and covered with a tiled roof, and between the floors were set overlap. In addition, an internal staircase was built to facilitate the rise of visitors.

Nowadays, at the top of the main tower there is an observation deck, and on the rest – the exposition of the Turaid Museum.

Be sure to climb to the viewing platform of the main tower of Turaid Castle! From the height of the tower (almost 30 meters) there is a magnificent panorama of the valley of the River Gaui and the surrounding area. In good weather, you can see the ruins of the Sigulda Castle and the Sannova Bobsley Track.

In addition, the tower is perfectly visible to the territory on which household buildings of the castle: a bath, brewery, cellar, bakery, as well as the courtyard and a semiconductor tower, which appeared in the Turaid castle in the XVI century.

Almost all buildings of the Turaid castle are located the expositions of the museum. So in the basement of the Western building, you can see a large exhibition on the history of the construction of the castle, where all the stages are described in detail, as well as the materials that were used in the construction.

In the tower-shaped southern corpus of the Turaid castle, built at the end of the XIII century, the exhibition of a museum, which tells about the construction of this part of the fortress.

Aluminum Tower of Turaid Castle

The semicircular tower of the Turaid castle was built much later than other buildings, and appeared only at the end of the XV – early XVI century. As in the main tower, the entrance to it was carried out through a balcony and a wooden staircase, which, if necessary, destroyed. In the basement of the tower there was a prison where held prisoners before the court, and now there is a separate exhibition "Castle Prison". In addition to the dungeon, in a semicircular tower you can get acquainted with the ancient firearms, and also learn about the history of its construction.

Near the semicircular tower there is a western case, which was built in the XV century. Initially, it was a residential building, but after the XVI century it began to use it as a barn for grain storage. It is not difficult to guess, in this building there are several more exposures, one of which is dedicated to the history of Turayda XIII-XVI centuries.

Tourish castle courtyard – exposure in the open sky

In the courtyard you can see a lot of different buildings, and all this historical architectural monuments that were found in the study of the Turaid Castle.

One of the most unexpected buildings – a bath built in the XVI century.

Here you can see the Wooden Well of the XVI century, and this is the only found and renovated well in the medieval castle in Latvia. The depth of this well was 9 meters. In the XVIII century, he was falling asleep, but for what reasons it happened, we could not find out.

Of course, it is best to come to the Turaid castle in the warm season, because in the winter snow hides the ruins of the foundations of household buildings, and it is not possible to consider them possible.

Turaid church

After a walk through the Turaid castle, we decided to walk through the reserve. As we already wrote, there is something to see here. In Turaida, there is one of the oldest wooden churches of Latvia, it was built in 1750 and was preserved to this day almost in his original form. The place for the construction of the temple was not chosen by chance – on the Turaid church grief, the churches were built.

Turaid castle in Sigulda, legend about Turaid Rose

According to archaeological studies, before this wooden temple appeared here, there were at least two churches at this place. The church itself represents not only a monument of wooden architecture, but almost a museum: inside you can see a unique altar, specially made for this church, an amvon and wooden benches of the middle of the XVIII century, as well as church utensils that would have decorating any museum.

Legend of Turaid Rose. Turaid rose grave.

Next to the church there is an old Turaid cemetery, according to the first burials on which were made at the beginning of the XIII century. Over time, all graves disappeared on the church mountain, except for one memorable place – the graves of the girls of Maya Greif, better known under the name of Turaid rose.

Legend of Rose – one of the most beautiful and romantic in Latvia. In the family of Writer, Greyf lived and brought up a girl he found on the battlefield in 1601 under the walls of Turaid Castle. The name of Maya’s girl was called, since they found a child in May, but they were all called her "Turaid Rose". Maya loved the gardener Viktor Hale from Sigulda Castle. Lovers met in the Gutman’s cave, which is just between two locks. But, as it usually happens, the girl had another fan – Adam. He barely lured the girl in the cave, sent her a note on behalf of Victor. When the girl came to the "date", she solved the cunning plan of Adam. Then Rosa promised to give the most valuable thing that she has: Red Magic Scarf. And to prove that he is magical, she tied him to the neck and ordered a rapist to hit him with a sword. The girl died – she chose death instead of violence. When in the evening, Victor came to the cave, he found a dead girl and, throwing his hatch, ran due to help. This abandoned garden tool became evidence in court, and Victor recognized as the Maison’s killer. But a friend of Adam told how everything was really, and the real killer was convicted and executed. In another version, he himself could not survive what he did, and hanged himself. Local residents were shocked by this story and began to make legends about the brave girl who chose to die, but not be disgraced.

Park of Folk Song – Mount Din and "Garden of Songs"

Another interesting place next to Turaida Castle – Folk Song Park. On Mount Dina, there are 26 statues created by the sculptor Indulisa Rankov, who introduce visitors with the wisdom and secrets of Latvian folk songs, make it possible to feel the beauty of nature, and, as guide to the guides, even recharge themselves to special "Latvian energy". Mount Din was opened in July 1985, on the day of the 150th anniversary of Krishianis Baron – famous folklorist.

5 years later, in 1990, the "Garden of Songs" opened, this place is popular and in our days: there are theatrical open-air productions, all sorts of festivals and ethnographic holidays. About each sculpture in the park you can tell a separate story, each of them is dedicated to one of the folk songs of Latvia. If you arrive in the Turaida Reserve, then you must strive through the unusual park, especially if your trip dropped on the warm season.

Turaid estate

In addition to the "Garden of Folk Songs" and the Turaid Church, visitors to the reserve can visit the buildings of the former Turaid estate, which was formed on the basis of castle farms. The story of the estate deserves a separate article, its exposition is very large: the house of the gardener, the dog, stables, a residential building for servants, the house of the headlights and about two dozen more buildings of various purposes. We managed to visit only a few of them.

House of Sadovnik

Practically, the walls of the Turaid castle there is a small white "gardener’s house", which was built in the Turaid estate in the 40s of the XIX century. How it is not difficult to guess from the name, the gardener lived here and his family: the children worked in the garden, and the wife is serving. For a long time, the museum administration was posted in this building, but in 2004-2009 research and restoration work was carried out, the initial appearance of the house and its interiors were restored. Now here is one of the expositions of the Museum-Reserve "Gauji Livi in ​​the history of culture of Latvia".


The building of the drying appeared in the estate in the second half of the XIX century. Until the middle of the 20th century, it was used for direct purpose: for drying grain. But in 1928, a buffet appeared in the building, in the 60s, the former drying turned into a warehouse for soft drinks, and then again in the cafe, the main idea of ​​which was the legend of Turaid Rose. Now here, as in other rooms of the Turaid estate, there is an exhibition "Drying Turaid Manor", which describes in detail how dried crops in the XIX century.

Old residential house manager estate

The project manager of the estate appeared in 1810 and is considered one of the very first buildings of the Turaid estate. Initially, the house was located not only the manager with the family, but also another servant, which moved to his own building only in 1858. In 1901, a new home was built for the manager of the manager, and this was located a forester, which lived here until 1919. After the First World War, the houses were located in the house, the inhabitants of the Turayda, lost her bed, and after 1920 he became the property of the last owner, Alexandra Steel von Holstein, who basically lived in Tallinn, and this house passed. After 1940, when he moved to a permanent place of residence in Germany, the manager of the manager passed to the state of the state. After the Second World War, residential apartments were first here, then a collective farm office, and then a grocery store. But in 2003, the building was restored, and now the next museum is located here, where you can see the restored interiors of the middle of the XIX century.


Turaid estate is very large and takes a lot of time to get around and see all its exposures. If you love museums, then at visit the Turaida Reserve It is worthwhile to take a whole day, then you do not rush to stroll around the garden of folk songs, visit the castle and numerous estate exposures.

This article was stolen from http: // poznamka.Ru.

If visiting exhibitions is not for you, then there is enough of a few hours to rise to the observation platform of the main tower of the Turaid castle, visit the oldest wooden church of Latvia and just enjoy the beauty of this place. On the way back, we decided to look into the largest cave of Baltic States – Gutman, but about it – next time, do not switch!

Turaid castle in Sigulda, legend about Turaid Rose

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