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103. Straupe medieval castle - Straupe in earlier days was a lively town on the way from Riga to Dorpat in contemporary Estonia. There were built also two castles in 13th century, both have survived up to this day. Here you see the larger Lielstraupe castle with later Barocco style tower. There is also church as a part of castle complex - you don't see it now.
Straupe town did not survive the wars and plagues - nowadays it is small village.

oooooooooooooooooo mygod!

the last time i came to riga, the bus passed this building, and i was stunned! i was completely stunned by this building's architecture, i now remember i even wrote the name "straupe" in my notebook to later look for information on that same building. of course i forgot to do that :D

and now it's here! what a great coincidence!

thanks, gatis!!
 

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Discussion Starter #203
:) Yes, it is wonderful building. By the way - it is used as sanatorium/healing centre for people with heavy dependencies, mainly alcoholism. I as a weekend photographer see the relatives of those people coming to sanatorium.
What today?
107. View from Ergelu cliffs, Gauja national park. Up to 25 m high sandstone cliffs towering above Gauja river.
 

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Discussion Starter #204
Am late today - was going in far places to take pictures :)
This one is from yesterday:

108. Kuksas manor house - Tukums district. Built in 1725 - for Kurzeme (Kurland) this was the time after war and plague, very little was built in these times, life was comparatively dangerous. Thus the outer architecture of the building is also simple and robust. Inside it is a lot more interesting. Palace has had rather happy history - when Soviet times ended, that building was almost collapsing - but it was taken by German hotelier and artist, who has turned it into his private villa + hotel.
Look the Webpage of the palace: http://www.kuksumuiza.lv/eng/eng_ievads.html
Staying there is highly recommended.

 

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109. Streetview in Jekabpils town - small town in eastern part of Latvia. Here the architecture differs from what you see in Western Latvia - much dark red brick used, somehow lots of places look... just Eastern. Taken yesterday, on Sunday evening - thus the town is calm.
 

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Kuksas manor house, maybe simple and robust, but I said: "Ooooh!" in myself, at the first moment when I saw the picture. It is so great captured in that picture, with those water-plants in the forefront and reflection on the water.. Beautiful!
And it looks like you have started already what I have also decided to do this year - every weekend go to some part of Latvia. Only, I wait for a bit more sunny and warmer weather, because I'm not with car but scooter.
 

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109. Streetview in Jekabpils town - small town in eastern part of Latvia. Here the architecture differs from what you see in Western Latvia - much dark red brick used, somehow lots of places look... just Eastern. Taken yesterday, on Sunday evening - thus the town is calm.
Nice. But Liepaja has red brick houses also.
 

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And it looks like you have started already what I have also decided to do this year - every weekend go to some part of Latvia. Only, I wait for a bit more sunny and warmer weather, because I'm not with car but scooter.
Yes, I am really travelling hundreds of km's every day of the weekend. You can join someday :)

Nice. But Liepaja has red brick houses also.
Yes, Liepaja has got a lot of red brick houses too. Jekabpils was a pleasant surprise to me - city is very interesting and rich with cultural heritage, there is a lot to see. Architecture in the town really is different from what you see in Western Latvia. F.e. their historical architecture uses a lot of stylised Nebyzantine cupolas. It all looks very charming and unusual to me.

As a contrast today come picture from Western Latvian town - Tukums. This town is also very diverse - it has got it's own "Old town" with small, crooked streets with cobblestone and also "boulevards" with large Neorenaissance buildings. Today:

110. Darza street in Tukums - this is a kind of view in Tukums "old town". Btw whole city is impeccably clean, most of the houses in centre have got a shield telling the history of the house, there are lots of other beautiful things.
 

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Yes, I am really travelling hundreds of km's every day of the weekend. You can join someday :)

Do you plan to go to Vidzeme heights someday? It could be the best our "united route", because there are so few asphalt roads, and it makes real problems when traveling with scooter - one time when I went from Jekabpils on unpaved road (in left bank of Daugava), I fell 3 times. Luckily, the speed wasn't high.
 

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Discussion Starter #211
111. Elles kalns, Jaunpils - "Hill of the Hell" in Jaunpils, west from Riga. In this former place of paganic sacrifices one landlord on 18th century built a network of underground passages. Story goes that one insane peasant was forced to live there and to pretend to be a Devil himself to the guests of landlord.
Nowadays this weird place is under reconstruction - upper layer of the soil has been removed in order to make proper rebuilding of passages. That's why the light is seen here.
 

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113. St. Franciscus Catholic Church in Riga - this church together with pastorate building is located in poorest suburb of Riga - so called "Maskacka". Ther street and surroundings around it belong to some of the most picturesque places in Riga.
 

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Discussion Starter #215
Thanks, @Freki! Many thanks!

Today am very late - was hard working to make new pictures far away. Unfortunately the time is terrible - cold, rainy and grey. Still it was possible to make some interesting pictures. Here comes, taken some hours before:

114. Lutheran church in Landze, Ventspils district, Western Latvia. Our attention is taken by blue flowers, which here take large area - there will be more pictures with them :). But the church is also special - it has got ancient, unchanged Maneurism - Barocco interior from late 17th century.
 

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116. Summerhouse in Jurmala - late 19th century. Looks freaky - but it stresses the great diversity of wooden architecture in this seaside town. Nowadays the building has been turned into year-round apartments and the owner most likely is working in Riga - just a 16 km ride from here.
 

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119. Valmiera town Central park.
Valmiera is a town in northern Latvia. In spite of it's small size, town is very lively, busy, there are several larger modern factories. Over the last 10 years nearly all the town has been reconstructed, repaired and brought in order.
If one wants a to take a rest from the busy everyday life - he can go to a silent park just next to Centre.
 
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