Belava Parish

Parish: Beļava parish
Population: 1434
Area: 169.3 km2
General Information
Beļava Parish is located in the N part of Gulbene County, the largest settlements are Beļava, Ozolkalns, Pilskalns, Letes, Svelbergis. The southern border of Beļava Parish closely adjoins the city of Gulbene. In this parish, which is unique with its very different settlements, there is the highest peak of the Gulbene hill-valley - Beļava or Kärtene mound, which was one of the largest Latgali mounds in the area. In the middle of the nineteenth century, one of the most ambitious Earth survey campaigns was carried out, or the so-called Surveying of the points of the Strūve geodetic arc, which also took place on the territory of Latvia. One of these points is located on the Kartene hill.

In Beļava parish, there is also the Lisa (Pinteļu) lake, which is nice not only for vacationers, but outstanding because it is home to the so-called range, or Latgali lake resort. Local stories are also connected with it. Beļava was first mentioned in historical sources in 1489.
There are many lakes in the territory of the parish, the largest of which are 9 lakes: Augulienas, Pintelis, Sprīvulis, Dimdiņš, Opulītis (Apaļi lake), Letu, Čusļu, Gribiņš, Omards.
The center of the parish is in the village of Beļava, where the Beļava parish administration is located, Gulbene district pre-school educational institution "Ābolīši", Beļava tautas nams, Gulbene district library structural unit "Beļava parish library" (its origins can be traced back to 1908), Beļava paramedics and midwives point, Ltd. "Avoti 93" store.

Beļava manor is located in the village of Pilskalns, right next to it is the Pilskalns open-air stage.
Ozolkalns, the former Blome half-manor, is located at the foot of the castle hill (Lazdukalns), here is one of the oldest human settlements. People also lived in the nearby Līkanši or Rutkaste hill, but opposite Lazdukalns – Perļu kalni, stone pile graves were found. In Ozolkalns village there is the Ozolkalns paramedics and midwives point, the Gulbene district social housing house "Blomīte", the Ozolkalns culture and sports center "Zīļuks", and an exposition dedicated to choir conductors Imantas and Gido Kokari has been arranged in the premises of the Blome manor.
The territory is crossed by highways Gulbene-Smiltene, Gulbene-Viļaka, narrow-gauge railway line Gulbene-Alūksne.
In the territory of Beļava parish in Svelbergi, there is a retail store "Mājai und dāržam", which is currently a widely growing company with a network of stores throughout Latvia. There are also several service shops for the purchase of spare parts for equipment and services, as well as one of the growing harvest procurement points of the international company "Baltic Agro" in Svelbergi.
VAKS LPKS, located in Torņkaln, Beļava parish, is a Latvian grain-growing company that has created a system that provides its members with pre-processing, storage and sale of the grown products.
In Ozolkaln, there is a metalworking workshop SIA "Kontmet", as well as a culinary workshop "Ozolkalnas kulinaria", which offers a wide range of culinary products. Car maintenance and repair is offered by IK "Lego-M" company.
One of the largest woodworking companies in the parish, operating in the village of Beļava, is SIA "Avoti 93".
There are 30 farms in the territory of the parish, whose activity is still active in the field of agricultural crops, vegetable growing and animal husbandry. Among the largest farms are "Laimiņi", "Bērziņi", "Jaunsētas", "Sviķi", "Lapsukalns", "Mili", "Kalnasīli", "Purenes".
 Until November 2010, a nursery for silver foxes and arctic foxes was operating in Letes.

 Gulbene district pre-school educational institution "Ābolīši" operates in Beļava parish, located in the center of Beļava village.
Pilskalns primary school/primary school, which has been named after Krišjānis Valdemārs since 1952, and has had its home since 1925 in the Beļava manor castle, closed on August 30, 2019.
Ozolkalnas primary school was closed in the summer of 2012.
After the 2nd World War in 1946, the structural unit of the Gulbene county library "Beļavas parish library" resumed its activities. The library is the only place for obtaining free publicly available electronic information in the parish. The library offers: home delivery of books and periodicals, SBA services, computer and Internet use, regional research materials, copying, printing, laminating and scanning services, Letonika and Lursoft databases.
In November 1964, the Beļava Folk House was opened, where the middle generation dance collective "Ega", the amateur theater "Mistērija", the handicraft group "Dzīpariņš" and the art studio "Krāsu prieks" are currently operating. The Ozolkalnas amateur theater "Spēlmaņi" and the applied art group "Superzīle" operate in the Ozolkalnas culture and sports center "Zīļuks".

There are paramedics and midwives points in the village of Beļava and Ozolkalnā.

Cultural and natural monuments
Archaeological monuments of national importance are Beļava Manor, Beļava-Kartene Castle Hill, "Burtnieku" Residential Hall, Lazdu Kalns, Pearl Hill, Rutkaste Hill, Viculaiku Castle Hill, Lis Lake, Andzeni Ancient Cemetery, Dumpurnieki Ancient Cemetery, Jaunleti Ancient Cemetery, Crimean Ancient Cemetery, Kubulnieki Ancient Cemetery, Liedskalnu ancient tombs.
In the center of Beļava village, near the former parish house, there is a bust of painter Leo Svempa (installed in 1987, sculptor E. Melderis).

Prominent persons
Beļava Parish is proud of its residents, who are known in Latvia and the world:
• Nikolajs Daker – author of the alphabet "First steps";
• choir conductors brothers Imants and Gido Kokari;
• Sergejs Duks – Latvian musician, choir conductor;
• Voldemārs Irbe, Leo Svemps, Ivars Klapers – artists, painters;
• Jānis Poļaks – wood sculptor;
• Vilis Lesiņš – writer.
Seven knights of the Military Order of Lāčplēš were born in Beļava parish - Artūrs Aparnieks, Mārtiņš Gedrovskis, Roberts Līsmanis, Augusts Mētelis, Alfreds Zaķis, Aleksandrs Žigurs, Valdemārs Škenders.

Today we are proud of our former and current athletes - Edgars Maskalanas (bobsleigh), Armandas Zvirbuli (freestyle wrestling), Jānis Mezītis (sprint), Linda Savļaks (biathlon), Madaras Līdums (biathlon), as well as the painter Solveiga Kļaviņa.

The latest information about Beļava Parish on the Internet: