Sigulda Castle Complex

Top choice in Latvia

The city of Sigulda has done a fine job developing the historic buildings at its core into one unmissable complex. The highlight is the Livonian Order Castle, which was constructed between 1207 and 1209 by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. Its evocative ruins are being restored and are worth an exploration. Some sections are complete and you can walk along the ramparts and ascend a tower with wonderful views over the forested Gauja Valley.

See if you can spy Krimulda Manor and Turaida Castle poking through the trees.

At the front of the complex, the 1878 neo-Gothic manor house was the home of Russian prince Dimitri Kropotkin, the man responsible for turning Sigulda into a tourist haven. It now houses Sigulda district council and is not open to the public. The complex's grounds have some lovely gardens; historic auxiliary buildings are now home to excellent restaurants, cafes and shops with working artists.

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1. Livonian Order Castle

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Constructed between 1207 and 1209 by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, this castle lies mainly in picturesque ruins after being severely damaged during…

2. Cable Car

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Enjoy terrific views by catching a ride on the cable car over the Gauja River. From the Sigulda side, it departs from a rocky precipice south of the…

3. Gūtmaņa Cave

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More grotto than cave, this 19m-deep fissure in the earth is most famous for its role in the tragic legend of the Rose of Turaida. Most tourists visit to…

4. Krimulda Manor

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The sprawling, crumbling Krimulda estate includes a neoclassical manor house from 1822, whose proud columns look out onto modest gardens. Inside you can…

5. Folk Song Garden

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The garden is dotted with sculptures dedicated to epic Latvian heroes immortalised in the dainas, poetic folk songs which are a major Latvian tradition.

6. Turaida Rose Headstone

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The small stone memorial commemorates poor Maija Roze, otherwise known as the Rose of Turaida – a character in Sigulda's romantic legend.

7. Turaida Museum Reserve

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Turaida means ‘God’s Garden’ in ancient Livonian, and this green knoll capped with a fairy-tale castle is certainly a heavenly place. The red-brick castle…

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