Turaida medieval castle
Sigulda – Krimulda
One of the oldest visible castles in Latvia is Turaida castle – it is built in 1214. Few buildings in Latvia are located in such a splendid landscape – castle is set on some 80 metres high strip of land between two ravines at Gauja River. There is marvellous view from its 27 metres high tower over the forested Gauja valley.
Castle has been built for Riga Bishop/Archbishop and has experienced more warfare than most other medieval castles in Latvia. It is not inhabited since 1776 and gradually was turning into ruins – until in the second half of 20th century there was started rebuilding of the castle for boosting of the tourism and rising the knowledge level. Nowadays the complex of the Turaida castle belongs to most interesting and most impressive culture landmarks in Latvia. It could be considered to be the best explored medieval castle in Baltic states.
Archaeological excavations in the territory of Turaida Castle have found a fragment of the shell of the Mediterranean Jacob with holes drilled in the sides to attach it to clothing. A clay bottle typical of pilgrims, which was attached to a belt, was also found in the excavations. These and other exhibits about the traditions of pilgrimage in medieval Livonia can be seen in the Turaida Castle Museum