Take a tour of the Latvian historical past and familiarize yourself with the ancient monuments and architectural wonders which have lingered on from the 11th century due to projects aimed at preserving the jewels of the past and which now enthrall the contemporary society.
The Museum Reserve has become a part of the Latvian cultural heritage due to the numerous memorials which are sprinkled throughout the 42 hectares that make up the site. It is worth mentioning that the administration of the museum reserve is interested in attracting visitors to the area but these developments do not interfere with the landscape by any means. On the contrary, the management pays great attention to the surroundings and is intent on preserving the area to its original appearance.
The reserve is situated at a 50 km distance away from the Latvian capital city, Riga, and it bears an immense importance in the country’s culture. Its beauty and archeological and architectural richness have been appreciated since the early beginning and are ‘responsible’ for the name attached to the site. Turaida is a word pertaining to the language used by the ancient dwellers of the area, the Livonians, and translates as ‘God’s garden.’ Further explanations concerning the designated term seem purposeless as all the clarifications are encompassed in the name itself.
Amid the monuments of the reservation, the Turaida Castle stands out due to its imposing construction. Seen from above, the majestic look of the casle is underlined. The red brick edifice pierces through the foliege which embrace it on all sides, creating a beautiful intertwining of the red and green colors.
The construction of the castle was initiated in the early years of the 13th century, in 1214 more precisely, on the grounds of a former wooden castle, but it continued in the centuries to come. The developments in terms of defense systems have contributed to the further improvement of the castle. But regardless of the enhancement produced, the medieval elements are still noticeable on the walls of the edifice.
Another element of significance which would definitely entice the visitors is the garden of sculptures which has been put together in order to honor the Latvian folklore. Legends are an important part of the Latvian culture and this specific garden will allow visitors to get a glimpse of the country’s traditions. In the Turaida Museum Reserve, tourists also get the chance to visit one of the oldest churches in the country, the Turaida Church, which has been constructed at the middle of the 18th century (1750).
The area is not renowned solely for its historical monuments but also for the specific environment. The setting is sprinkled with rare plants and crystal clear water courses which might be alluring to nature-lovers.
At present, there are exhibitions held within the castle which retrace the history of the monument step by step, starting from its construction year and throughout the development and restoration periods.