Exploratory expeditions in Gulbene region 2019

In preparation for each expedition, natural and cultural-historical objects and places are identified. In cooperation with the heads of parish libraries, expedition routes are developed, creating maps with attractions. An expedition leader is invited to each expedition - an expert in history, architecture, art, geography or another field. Local cultural, tourism and business people, as well as local research enthusiasts, are involved in the development of the routes.

What expeditions offer -

  • to see what has gone unnoticed so far
  • to look at the cultural and historical environment in the area from a different point of view
  • to find solutions for the preservation of cultural and historical heritage
  • find out what to do with old buildings
  • to educate children and young people
  • find out what life has been like in the area in the past
  • how to combine the ancient with the modern
  • spend your free time meaningfully
  • to meet and get to know active people in Gulbene region

The project “Cognitive Expeditions in Gulbene Region” has been supported by the State Cultural Capital Fund.


In cooperation with the heads of Druviena, Galgauskas and Litene parish libraries in Gulbene region, routes for three expeditions have been developed, creating maps with sightseeing objects and a precise route.

Three experts were invited, who during the expeditions educated the participants about the history of the place, natural and cultural heritage, possible solutions for its preservation.

The first expedition - on April 27, 2019 in DRUVIENA PARISH.

Together with the architect Pēteris Blūms, we went to get to know the “pearls” of Druviena - to study the cultural and historical heritage of Druviena parish. We listened to expert advice and suggestions on the preservation of old buildings, we learned how to determine the age of the building, which must be observed when starting its renovation.

The length of the route is about 8 km.

Gathered at the Druviena Old School - Museum, we heard the story of its head Ligita Zvaigznekalne about the history of the school from its beginnings to the present day.

We visited the chimney of the manor's brick kiln, where the former employee Lidija Pušpare shared her memories of the time spent in the kiln works.

The road led through the picturesque Pearl Bridge. We looked at the cranberry crown, as well as the place where the fire safety observation tower used to be.

Arriving at the Pearl Mill, we met the supporters of the White House, and visited the mill together. Then we went to the Pearl Dairy (White House), where its owners told their story, kindly showing the building.

Pearl mill. They operated from the end of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century.

Bus stop "Pearl".

Pearl Dairy Shop (White House).

Nearby, on the banks of the river Tirza, there is also the Pearl Pub and the Pearl Green Ball Place.

Silmači Museum.

At the Silmači Museum we looked at the Kukažiņa stone and heard the story of the museum manager Sandra Āre.

At the end of the expedition, we returned to the old school-museum in Druviena, where we enjoyed Buņģs soup with home-baked bread and discussed what we saw.

The second expedition - on May 11, 2019 in GALGAUSKA PARISH.

The next expedition together with Sarmīte Dunduri , State Inspectors of the Vidzeme Regional Branch of the National Cultural Heritage Board, led to Galgauskas Parish.

Approximate length of the route: 7 km.

First we looked at Galgauskas manor - more the place where it was. Looking at the ancient pictures, we tried to find the former buildings of the manor, to understand where the barn, the dryer, the smithy and other buildings were located.

Galgauskas manor buildings. Blacksmith and carpentry.

The manor got its name from the surname of its first owner Golgowsky. The manor was owned by the Baron von Mengden family from 1653 until the family left Latvia in the autumn of 1939.

The manor house of Galgauskas manor, built in 1894, was burnt down in 1902.

In the distance, the ruins of an earlier grain dryer can be seen.

Watermill and miller's house.

This building was once a pub, now it can only be recognized by a boulder wall.

Next we went to Galgauskas cemetery to see the ancient monuments and hear a ghost story.

Mashed pine.

At the Galgauskas mill HPP, we crossed the Tirza River, further along the forest road to St. St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church, which was the last attraction of our expedition.

The Orthodox Church on the right bank of the river Tirza was built in the middle of the 19th century and has been abandoned since the 20th century. 80s. The interior details have not been preserved, except for two partially damaged tiled stoves, decorative wooden railings and ceiling paintings.

The sculptor Ivars Drulle also took part in the expedition. The idea of his recent performance was presented at the Church of St. John the Baptist.

Behind the church is the cemetery of Baron von Mengden's family.

Once upon a time there was a highway over the river Tirza and there was a serious bridge - now it is possible to cross the river only along a rather dubious bridge of equipment.

The third expedition - on June 13, 2019 in LITENE PARISH.

This time we went to Litene, where the participants of the expedition were educated by Litene local history enthusiast, former school principal, the book “What is Litene”, Litene. The Second Book ”,“ June. Litene 1941 ”author Jānis Zvaigzne .

The length of the route is about 6 km.

The expedition started at the memorial site of the Army of the Republic of Latvia "Wall of Pain", dedicated to the harassed and killed officers of the Latvian Army.

The road led to the center of Litene.

In the center of Litene we visited and got acquainted with the buildings of the Litene manor complex, which today live their second life and are used.

In the former barn there is a folk house, in the laundry building - a gym, in the conservatory - a parish library and a family doctor's practice.

Litene manor. Brewery beer cellars.


Litene manor. Magazine house.

Manor food storage. On the ground floor - ice cellars.

Manor laundry house. Now the gym.

Litene manor.

Litene manor sheep and goat barn. Later a dwelling house for paper mill workers. Now social housing.

After visiting the manor complex, having a little rest on the green promenade, we went through the park to the next object - the iron bridge.

Iron Bridge.

Railway traffic to Litene was stopped in 2001.

The road then led to a camp for Latvian soldiers.

Litene's name is associated with the tragic fate of Latvian army officers, who are important in the history of Latvia. In Litene parish, in the pine forest on the bank of the picturesque Pededze river during the independence of Latvia in the 20th century. At the end of the 1930s, the Latvian Army 's summer camp was located. Trails were cut here, roads were built, wells were drilled, wooden barracks and kitchens were built, a strong bridge of wooden constructions over Pededze was built, and a modern landfill was nearby. From May to autumn, several thousand conscripts learned the skills of combat tactics and shooting, got acquainted with the difficulties of the military field settlement and became physically and mentally seasoned.

The construction of the summer camp complex began in 1935. Initially, the soldiers lived in tents, later wooden barracks were built on concrete foundations.

Latvian Army summer camp site. Grocery store-cellar, the only building that has survived to this day.

Memorial cross on the site of a former sauna.

At the end of the expedition, we went to see the Jewish cemeteries along the forest path. According to the preserved evidence, around 200 people were brutally shot in Litene.

Nearby is a memorial stone erected by unknown hands in 1988 - a boulder with the engraved sign of Mara and the sign of God or Heaven.