Two day route in Lubāna and Aglona

To ease the travellers’ choice, mammadaba offers a wonderful two-day route nearby Lubāna and Aglona. This trip can also be a family trip as on the road you can visit cultural and historically important objects, find out more about history of Latvia and see a huge variety of birds and plants. The road trip can even be combined with tasting of fresh fish soup, berry and mushroom picking.

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Latvia State Forest (LVM) leisure and tourism centre “Ezernieki”

Bath/sauna
Camper location
Catering available
For cyclists
Paid place
Pets allowed
Walking trails
Water
WI-FI

Leisure and tourism centre “Ezernieki” will always welcome its guests with cosiness. Before going to sleep guests have the opportunity to treat themselves with sauna visit, refreshing swim in the Island’s Lake and resting by the fireplace. After a deep and peaceful sleep in the romantic room with a lake view, the morning will be refreshing and awakening with birds’ songs in the background. Everyone will want to stay there for a couple of more moments: the Island’s Lake is so tempting will all the plank bridges, boats, water sports activities. Nearby sports fields are inviting all volleyball, basketball and football players. If you do not prefer staying in small or big guest house rooms, you can build your own tent and stay at a lighted and well-maintained tent city. We need to get back on the road to visit lake Lubāns, Īdeņa village and take a walk in Tīrumnieku nature trail which is located only couple of tens kilometres away from “Ezernieki”.

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The big Lake Lubāns

Water

 

Lake Lubāns is so impressive that sometimes one might get the feeling that is at the sea. Linguists believe that the name “Lubāns” comes from its breadth, because in Estonian language it means 'breadth, opened'. Every spring the lake has a tendency of overflowing, flooding the territory bigger than the lake itself. When water level goes back to normal, grass of at least meter height is growing in the meadow nearby sluice gate of Aiviekste. People have tried to restrain lake Lubāns since the mid 19th century, but the water level controlling was started only in 1926. To ensure that, Aiviekste river bearing was deepened and canal of Meirāns was digged. From year 1929 until 1939, Aviekste river was regulated and that resulted in the drop of the water level for more than 2 meters. The biggest hydrological and hydrotechnical works were done from 1956 until 1981 and now due to all technical improvement, lake Lubāns is the biggest dammed lake in Europe. Two sluice gate – one in north of Aiviekste and the other to south from canal of Meirāns – are still used to regulate the water level. In total, 90 km dams and 93 km canals have been built in Lubāns.

 

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Fisherman village in Latgale – Īdeņa

Walking trails

Archaeological findings proves that wetland of lake Lubāns is one of the first inhabited places in Latvia after the retreat of the glaciers to the north. Twenty-one places of settlement from stone and bronze age have been found here. The neighbourhood of Lubāns has been acknowledged by the discovered Neolithic and amber processing places. The obtained number of ambers during the archaeological excavations exceeds more than couple of thousands. The discovered amber processing places dates back to 5300–3700 years B.C. All the discovered and found amber wares and their high – quality shows that the current Lubāna neighbourhood was one of the main amber processing points in the Neolithic century. For now, 470 castle mounds in Latvia have been discovered, however, the number may still increase because castle mound researchers discover new witnesses of history every three to four years. In the small ancient fisherman village Īdeņa there are two castle mounds. Castle mound of Īdeņa was reported and measured in 1925. There is a tale about golden treasures that were stored in the castle mound by soldiers during the years of war. Seniors have told stories about once existing oak road that went from the castle mound, over the lake Lubāns to the pub Elkšņu located at the side of Vidzeme. Once you reach the side of the castle mound, hillside full of hazel trees will reveal itself. When coming from the plain to the high cliff, you will see a hazy and breath-taking landscape of lake Lubāna waters.

 

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Teirumnīki swamp trail

Walking trails

 

The silent and fragnant Teirumnīki swamp with its crystal clear and deep lake is located on the right side of Nagļu-Īdeņa road between ponds Lubāna and Orenīši and among many other neighbourhood swamps. Already for eight years, visitors can walk through the Teirumnīki swamp taking the built wooden trail, however the 800 m long path (in one way) will take some time. People come here to have some peace and silence, to have moments filled with such feelings that cannot be compared to anything else. Taking the swamp trail will reveal a wide diversity of plants, berries, insects and bushes. During the spring when cranberries are at their full bloom, the swamp is painted in soft and charming pink colours.

 

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The Clear lake

Water

Little lake of Tīrumnieki swamp is located at the very middle of the swamp. You will not believe how clear and soft is the water in the lake, and if you decide to go for a swim, you will be surprised of how silky and soft your hair and skin gets. The water of the lake is drinkable and while men have used the water as one of the ingredients to brew beer, women were using the clear water of the lake for laundry. The main base of the name of the swamp is word ‘tīrs’ that in Latvian means ‘clear’. Since the trail has been built through the swamp, those tired from the summer sun visit one of the tree lake platforms to dive into the refreshing water. It is quite challenging to do so from the short as the side of the lake is very swampy and it gets deep quite fast- nearby the shore the lake is already 3 m deep while in the middle the bottom cannot even be reached. Could it be that the lake is a result of some meteorite’s hit very long time ago? Scientists have not come up with one correct answer to this question, but their hypothesis vary. Those who are passionate about SPA procedures are rather more interested in the sludge than the clear water because it can be used in various beauty procedures. And sludge in here is enough for everyone.

 

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Nature Park “Lake Cirīša”

Walking trails
Water

On the second day we visit Aglona neighbourhood! Although there are in total 21 lake in the Aglona parish, only Lake Cirīša can be so proud that its water reflects the white towers of the Basilica of Aglona but the biggest of all eight lake islands “Upursala” is keeping mysterious and ancient secrets of the nation of Latvia.

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Forest kitchen and the restaurant

Fireplace
Shed

Straight and smooth forest road all of a sudden slow you down at a very unique resting spot that sometimes is being called ‘Ķēķis’ (kitchen in the ancient Latvian). Here it feels that Mother Nature herself has gifted us with one of her most specials trees for the canopy to welcome tired forest visitors. One of such prays to the Mother Nature borrowed from the ancient Portuguese articles can be read in the South Latgale forest next to the resting spots “Ķēķis” and “Restaurant”. After a long walk through the forest, it feels so good to find a resting spot with tables and chairs surrounded by pine and spruce trees where one can just rest and enjoy their brought snacks. Meanwhile, hunters in a resting spot called “Restorāns” can prepare and enjoy their catch at a bower in the forest kitchen.

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Basilica of the Assumption, Aglona

For cyclists

Aglona neighbourhood is surprisingly picturesque. It does not come as a surprise that Balts have been living here for centuries. In historical sources, Aglona was first mentioned as a part of Christian culture in year 1263 when Lithuanian king Mindaugas and his sons were murdered here. Aglona is a very special place, especially starting year 1700 when the first wooden church and monastery was built here. When the local noblemen dedicated the land for the church, they said – “In honor of the God and to Latvians as a blessing”. When in 1766 they fire destroyed the church and the monastery, Dominican Order build a new, stone church in a style of baroque with two 60-meter-tall towers. Nowadays, the church has gained a title of a sanctuary of international importance and has been included in the list of cultural and historical heritage of Latvia. The famous icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been stored in the Basilica since 17th century and is believed to have healing powers. Although the famous icon is only placed for visitors to see on special occasions, there is so much more to see in the Basilica. The interior has been made in 18th and 19th century and is highly valued by many art experts, moreover, because the Basilica is a home for a collection of paintings, sculptures and other works of art. Inside of the Basilica of the Assumption in Aglona one can enjoy such feeling of peace that can only be found in globally recognized Catholic spiritual centers. Pope John Paul II visited and blessed the Basilica in 1993. The Dormition of the Mother of God takes place on August 15 every year and more that 250 thousand pilgrims start their journey to the Basilica of the Assumption in Aglona.

 

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Aglona holy spring

Aglona holy spring can be found in the territory of the Basilica, not far away from the lake Egles. The healing power of the spring was confirmed in 1820 by Doctor Commision of Vilnius and Academy of Pēterpils and although it is believed that it is slowly losing its healing powers, it is still a very popular destination. Cool and tasty spring water is a great refreshment for many pilgrims.

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The King Mountain

For children
Water

 

On the King Mountain that is on the other shore of Lake Egles entrepreneur Jānis Strupāns started to build a sculpture complex in 2006 which has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Aglona region. Ēriks Deplers who is the author of the idea and the project, used to be a military pilot but now is a wood sculptor and author of several spiritual books. He thinks that everyone who visits King Mountain can get in touch with the God and the real beauty. Lake, clouds, the mountain, ancient oak benches that has been kissed by the sun in the park and the wooden sculptures creates a heart-warming atmosphere erasing all every-day challenges for a moment.

 

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Bread Museum

For children
For cyclists
Paid place

Many other interesting places are waiting for visitors in Aglona, one of them being Bread Museum which will introduce you with the process of bread making and will fill your empty stomachs with freshly baked Latvian bread. The museum is a place to see hundreds of things that are related to grain processing and bread making: flails, peels, bread troughs and other tools. Visitors can also enjoy a special performance in a pleasant atmosphere. With candles in the background, freshly made herbal tea and the fragrant smell of bread, the talks about the bread can begin. Museum workers know plenty of beliefs, sayings, stories and Latvian customs about making the bread, planting the grains and then eating the bread. This is a place where one can find out more about the bread making culture in Latvia, learn the games that are related to grains and bread and even try out working with bread windmills.

 

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