Travel Journal

Sigulda (Latvia)

(Tuesday 5 June 2007) by Lynda
Sigulda, what a lovely place to be. I really enjoy being here. Only 50 km from Riga but completely different. Quiet, tranquil, lovely castles and streams, the place just has a great feeling about it.

I've spend the last two days walking, relaxing and eating and enjoyed everything Sigulda has to offer (does it sound already like a tourist add?). Before I left I read a strange story about the rose from Turaida so I decided to check it out myself and I found out it's a great story about love and fidelity.

quote:The Turaida Rose: Sigulda's local beauty, Maija, was taken into the Turaida castle when she was found among the wounded after a battle in 1601. She grew into a famous beauty courted by men from far and wide, but she loved Viktors (Heil in local language), a gardener at Sigulda Castle. They would meet in a cave (Gutmanis cave) halfway between the two castles. One day a particularly desperate Polish officer among Maija's suitors lured her to the cave by means of a letter forged in Viktors' handwriting. He was quite aggressive to get what he wanted and Maija couldn't escape so she offered to give the Pole the scarf from around her neck, which she said had magical protective powers, to protect him on the battlefield, if he let her go. To prove the scarf's power, she suggested he swing at her with his sword. The Pole duly took his swing, and killed her.

Grave of the Turaida Rose
Grave of the Turaida Rose
Gutmanis Cave
Gutmanis Cave

The story puzzled me back at home but after reading the full version in Sigulda I found out that she knew the scarf didn't have any magic power; she deliberately choose death above infidelity.

Latvia is a great country with a great history and I really like all the local stories and folk stuff.

I've left Sigulda this morning and I'm in Cesis at the moment, another lovely place in the Gauja National Park, 30 km east from Sigulda. Hopefully more interesting places and stories to find.

  • Lieve Lynda :) by Agita
  • Hoi Lyn by Nicky
  • Natural blonde... by Guess who...

Home | Features | Sign Up | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | © 2006 - 2018
Note: Javascript is not active