“Path of Saulkrasti” in Krāslava

Eight kilometre long “Path of Saulkrasti” (bicycle road marking number 18) begins in the city of Krāslava where river Daugava has one of its biggest and most picturesque meanders. This route will take you through the most beautiful landscapes of Daugava River shore cliffs and bluffs and will take you to the watchtower of Priedaine. It is also worth visiting the old and charming city of Krāslava with all of its mythical places and corners



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Daugava shores in the Krāslava region have been inhabited since 3rd millennium B.C. Krāslava city, as per ancient articles, is considered to be one of the oldest inhabited places in Latvia, as people were living at the castle mound by Daugava-Dnepra River already in 9th century. In the stories of Vikings, Krāslava has been named “Dynassaiforgard”, whch means “Castle Mound of river Daugava from which you can start to sail”. City of Krāslava is rich with all the castle mounds, which are 36 in total and the history of the city is quite long and complicated. It has been under control of Prince of Polotsk, has been part of Latgalian principality of Jersika, has been a part of Lithuania-Poland united country, as well as Vitebsk Governorate and was devastated by The Livonian Brothers of Sword, wars and fire. In 1729, Krāslava was proclaimed village and in the same year governor or Latgale and Daugavpils proclaimed proprietary on Krāslava. At that moment there were only 47 buildings in the village.


Castle of Earl Plater

Once in the city, you need to go to the Pils street where you will be able to see Plater’s Castle (also known as Castle of Krāslava), which is an architectural monument of national significance of the 18th century. The castle is surrounded by farm buildings and spectacular baroque style park. All walking paths throughout the park have been renovated, which makes it a necessity to enjoy the nice atmosphere in the park and picturesque landscapes of Daugava River whenever in Krāslava. During the restauration, unique and ancient wall paintings were discovered in the castle. In the ancient, baroque style castle, there was a huge library with almost 20 thousand books during Earl Plater’s time. Worth mentioning are also Catholic church of Krāslva, Saint Alexander Nevsky Church in the city and the Rock of Augustus that is located on the Street Augusta. On the sides of the rock engraved is the Plater dynasty coat of arms and the year 1729, which marks the time when Earl Jan Ludwig Plater bought the manor of Krāslava. There is a legend about a new Polish officer Jospeh who fell in love with the daughter Emilia of Earl Plater and even though their love was mutual, Earl Plater denied their relationship. Because of this denial, Joseph shot himself in August 1838. Now this place has a name of “Love Mountain”, but the nearby spring –“Love spring”. When you have got to know the city, go in the direction of south taking the road P69. Bicycle route starts over the bridge in Krāslava, which is one of the highest bridges in Latvia.


Watchtower of Priedaine

For cyclists
Walking trails

The first stop in a route of “Path of Saulkrasti” is watchtower of Priedaine which is located in a very picturesque place not far from meadow of Maestro Raimonds Pauls that is surrounded by protected nature territory “Augšdaugava”. 32-meter-tall watchtower is one of the tallest wooden watchtowers in Latvia and when climbing up the tower, it might seem unbelievable that the landscape you see is still in Latvia. The tower overlooks Daugava River, as well as cute wooden houses in Krāslava and the church towers are literally laying at its feet. In the spring it gets extremely beautiful when everything is in blooming, but in the autumn one can enjoy the endless colours of tree leaves. During the good weather, when the sky is clear, it is even possible to see Daugavpils TV tower at the distance and get a glimpse of hills in Belarus. At the bottom of the tower one can take a breath in a well accommodated resting spot.


Resting spot “Beach Ulmanis”

For cyclists
Walking trails

Further, the road us takes through the forest. Although for couple hundreds of meters you will need to slow down because the forest road is going by the fence of the treatment plant, very soon you will have a chance to rest in one of the most well-kept beaches called “Beach Ulmanis”. An old pine tree, a bower, chairs, tables, fireplace and swings behind the big trees gifts the place with a very cosy feeling. Just at the bottom Daugava has created a little island and on the beach one can spend time fishing and after that also cooking and enjoying the catch. The beach is the right place for appreciating the fresh air, silence, peace and the flow of Daugava water.

The way back takes you through the pine tree forest to the road P69. On the road you can continue enjoying the fresh air and silence of the forest.

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