Yesterday's Svelberg

Svelberg is a historical, ancient settlement on the outskirts of Gulbene. Rutkaste castle mound is nearby and there have been tombs in the past. Rutkastes Hill can still be seen today.

According to the cadastral data of the State Land Service, the operation of the building, with its current address in Gulbene, 106 Brivibas Street, was started in 1870.

“In 1921, the following buildings were located in the Svelberg half-manor: a stone pub with a stadium, an old wooden barn with stone poles, a stone barn, an old wooden barn, three stone barns. "Flat, brick, medium" (for a brick dwelling in medium condition) and an old barn. It is mentioned there that the half-manor has been owned by Baroness Dagmar von Wolf, who lives in Germany. The semi-manor is now state-owned and run by smallholders.

The manor has well-kept arable land, but there is a medium-sized grass in the meadows. The manor houses are moderately well maintained and will be divided into new farms. Wool processing was the main activity in Svelberg half-manor. In 1928 the land of the half-manor was divided.

Today, one building has survived from the manor building - a pub on the side of the street - a typical 19th century building. Its walls are made of boulders and small granite chips are embossed in the mortar. Lightly tinted plaster strips around the columns and corners. The building has apartments and a small shop. The building of the manor can be seen in the land plan of Vecgulbene manor from 1908/1909 - in addition to this pub, there were six other buildings in its center. ”

Source: Jānis Zilgalvis “Vecgulbene manor. One of the properties of the von Wolf family in Vidzeme ”, 2011

As previously written, there were meadows in Svelberg with medium-sized grass, so cows were grazed here and shepherds were needed.
The newspaper Gulbene Balss No.15 of 1938 informs: "The following shepherds are available in Gulbene and its surroundings: Alfreds Lupiks - Svelbergs".


During the time of the first independence of Latvia, the old stone pub building belonged to Rihards Filipsons, as 88-year-old Ozolkalns recalls: “Once upon a time, the old stone building housed a wool processing workshop.
There, the wool brought in the bags was collected, pressed, and voila was prepared. The house belonged to the Phillipson family. During the Soviet era, wool yarn was dyed there and there was a public service point. ”


The following article was published in the newspaper Gulbene Balss on April 1, 1938:

A week later, on April 8, the following information appeared in the newspaper: “On Friday evening, more than 60 wives left the station to watch the mummies dug in the gravel pits of Svelberg lead to Riga. When the sick soldiers were carried from the small station of the Alūksne railway line, the wives were there. But they didn't find the mummy, they came home to charge. "

The Soviet era came with its own special requirements and settings:

“Not far from Gulbene, in the village of Vecgulbene, on the building“ Svelberģi ”, where the village Folk House and Library is located, there is a large inscription:« G. Kesels - Merchant ».
On the other side of the road is the Gulbene Consumer Association store No. 1, below which the inscription is displayed: "R. Filipson's dowry and paint shop". The inhabitants of Vecgulbene village no longer want to remember the times when people like Kessel and Phillipson walked here proudly, and therefore they demand that the institutions located in these buildings, as well as the Vecgulbene village council, remove the traces of this past as soon as possible.
J. Baltvilks. "
Source: Soviet Youth, No.129 (04.07.1950)

The inscription was once repainted, but is still legible today.

In Soviet times, the old stone pub had a shop and a café:
"..Finally, the consumer association learned that the store in Svelberg needed a manager. I was the first to apply. The owner of the building was very responsive, allowing me to rent the premises. That's how the Marquis shop was built. Several years passed. On weekdays I stood behind the counter, but on weekends I trade away. [..] More and more people were interested in eating. I weighed all the pros and cons and decided that I could offer stewed cabbage with sausages at the beginning. Working on a daily basis, I realized that I would not stop at a small age, because I could do a lot more. I hired the cooks and we started cooking lunch. ”
(from the memories of store manager Vija Vasiljeva)





In 2016, Gulbene County Council makes a decision to demolish the building and build a rotation circle instead.