Exploratory expeditions in Stāmeriena and Jaungulbene parishes

For the second year in a row, with the support of the State Cultural Capital Fund, the Gulbene Regional Library is organizing exploratory expeditions. In 2019, we explored the cultural and historical heritage in Druviena, Galgauskas and Litene parishes, while on the first expeditions of this year we went through Gulbene parks and to Ranka parish. The next expeditions took place in Stāmeriena and Jaungulbene parishes.

On August 14, 16 tireless participants of the expedition went to explore the Kalniena side of Stāmeriena parish. Under the guidance of Sarmīte Dundure, the state inspector of the Vidzeme regional branch of the National Cultural Heritage Board, we went to see one of the 24 castle mounds opened last year - Jaunķempju castle mound. Next, the road led to Punakrogs, where Iveta Erica, a local history researcher from the Gulbene County Library, introduced us to interesting facts about the history of this building. Going further towards Kalniena, at Lake Ludza we visited the ancient cemeteries of Skolu - a place where a unique relic of Latvian history has been found in archeological excavations - Stāmeriena villa.

Time passed in Kalniena without noticing, where Inga Lapse, tourism information consultant of the Tourism Information Center “Stāmeriena”, introduced us to the history of Kalniena Castle and other manor buildings built in the classicist style. Before boiling the rest of the road, we rested in the outdoor reading room of Kalniena Library in Stāmeriena Parish. Then we went to Jaunkalns manor, on the way we came to see the restored Kalniena station, as well as stopped at the birthplace of the poet Vija Poļaka-Rikveile "Verdenas".

Thank you to the experts for the informative and interesting narration, thank you to the hospitable manager of Kalniena Library for the kind reception! We are happy and grateful to the owner of Jaunkalns manor for the opportunity to see his property! Thanks to the strong members of the expedition, who were not afraid of road dust and many kilometers! We covered about 15 km in this expedition, which turned out to be the longest route of the expedition!

On September 19, we went on the last expedition of the project “Cognitive Expeditions 2020” in the mood of golden autumn. We drove to Jaungulbene parish, where 22 participants of the expedition (and an attractive dog) looked at and explored the mountains of Liedes - this time completely different than usual. We turned to the ancient history, looking at the stones found in the mountains - we were educated by local researcher, stone explorer Ivars Logins and like-minded people. Watching the stones, we tried to imagine, conjuring up the scene as it once could have been.

The road then led through the park of Jaungulbene Castle, stopping at a significant stone on the side of the trail. After seeing the half-manor of Obrava, listening to the stories related to its history and enjoying the kind reception of the hostess Ilva Šimone-Žvīgure, we went to Lake Ušura, where in the 20th century. Archaeological excavations led by Jānis Apals took place in the 1960s, opening the lake's residence in Līņsaliņi. The excavations in Lake Ušura were stopped because the archaeologist started researching the Āraiši lake castle, which was much better preserved. Baron Tranze-Rozeneks, on the other hand, went from Jaungulbene Castle to Lake Usura to drink his morning coffee. At the end of the expedition, we listened to the stories of Gulbītis' buildings, as well as looked at Rija Hill.

Thanks to the experts for the interesting story, as well as to the owner of Obrava half-manor Ilva Šimone-Žvīgure for the stories and nice reception!

We are especially happy for the participants who are participating in the exploratory expeditions for the second season, as well as for those who apply for the next expedition before it is announced!

Inese Kalēja,
Gulbene County Library