Daugavas Loki Nature Park was created to preserve the unique natural complexes, natural, cultural and historical values and little transformed landscapes of the ancient valley of the Daugava on the site of Naujene to Kraslava. The bends of the ancient valley of the Daugava are considered to be the oldest geological formations in Latvia. The Daugavas Loki nature park as part of Augsdaugava protected landscapes area was recognized as the NATURA 2000 territory in 2004, but in 2011 this park was included in the Latvian National UNESCO World Heritage List. The River Daugava is a structural axis for the nature park, forming a picturesque bends. There are picturesque landscapes from the banks of the river. Since ancient times the River Daugava was the main element of the development of this area - water trade route. Castles and villages were built on the banks of the river. An ancient but eternally young Daugava with its apparent calm watercourse had been conducting a titanic effort, for thousands years creating a unique valley that produces an unforgettable impression on each traveler.
Daugavpils fortress is an outstanding fortification that occupies more than 150 ha. The only early 19th century fortress in Eastern Europe that has remained virtually unchanged.
A zigzag line of fortifications is formed by a rampart with 8 bastions, 6 ravelins, 6 counterguards and other protective structures: lunettes, redoubts and a moat. On the left bank of the Daugava River there is a bridgehead. Each detail of the fortress was developed using the construction experience of the best architectural schools of Tsarist Russia and Europe. Inside the fortress was planned as a traditional military town: in the centre there was a parade ground, surrounded by blocks of administrative and residential buildings.
What is Latgale? It’s an ancient part of Latvia, almost a quarter of the whole country, where one third of the population of Latvija lives. Historically, Latgale was the region of Latvia from the River Daugava in the East to the borders of the Livian and Slavic tribes. Ancient Latgale (nowadays Vidzeme and Latgale) was under Polish rule in 16th century, and was called “Pardaugavas hercogiste”. One hundred and fifty castle mounds in Latgale still show where the region’s fortified castles stood, where the aristocratic land-lords and local rulers held sway in prosperity and wealth.
Nowadays Latgale comprises the districts of Balvi, Daugavpils, Kraslavas, Ludzas, Preili and Rezeknes, and two of Latvia’s larger cities – Daugavpils and Rezekne.
Latgale is rightly called the Land of Blue lakes or land of lakes. The largest lake in Latvia - Lubans (82,1 km2), the second largest lake – the Raznas lake (located near Rezekne), the deepest lake Dridzis (maximum depth - 63 m), which is the deepest in the Baltics are all found in Latgale. A unique protected natural area is Ezezers with thirty-six islands and Velnezers (the Devil’s lake) is famous for its mysterious colours and legends that are told about it.
Latgale greets tourists with its picturesque views, varied mosaic landscapes with its many lakes, forests and hills, and geological curiosities – great stones [the biggest Latvian great stone is situated in Nicgale (130 m3)], glens and slopes. Latgale is characterized by crucifixes at the road sides, steeples of white churches over coniferous forests, manor-houses and castles. Aglona basilica, the world famous catholic religious centre attracts thousands of faithful from manycountries. attracts thousands of people from different countries) to celebrate the Ascension of the Virgin Mary.
You will also find ceramics made by local potters – jugs, pots, vases, plates and candlesticks, glittering glaze in warm earthtone shades – a traditional part of crafts. Each potter has his own specific style, leaving his personal mark on Latgalian craft. Patchwork, different kinds of knitting, crochet, wood, wattle work are popular handicrafts in Latgale.
Take your walking-stick and rucksack! Take your bike and backpack! Put your luggage in the boot and discover for yourself that Latgale is A place where you can relax, enjoy nature and be invigorated!
In this portal you will find precise information on addresses, contact phones. Points of interests to tourists places to spend a leisurely time following your hobby, to arrange a business meeting, to take a meal, to findaccommodation and to find relaxation in whichever way your heart desires!
This portal will help you organise your travel in Latgale, and plan your personal itinerary.
More in-depth information has been prepared by the Tourism Information Centres of the districts of Aglona, Daugavpils, Kraslava, Preili, Rezekne, Livani, Ludza and Balvi.
Latgale welcomes you!