Coordinates: N 57°10'34,2" E 24°50'32,3"
Location: Riga district, Sigulda, at the foot of ancient bank of Gauja River between Turaida and Krimulda;
Description: Most popular and most spatious cave in Latvia.
Ancient cult site. Even in 19th century here were left sacrifices to paganic deities.
Width of the cave - 12 m, maximum height of ceiling - 10 m (highest cave in Latvia), volume 500 m3, floor area 170 m2. Width of entrance - 10,6 m.
Level of Gauja river reached the entrance of the cave once ago. Cave has been formed by the interaction of Gauja river and spring originating from the cave. Formation started some 10 000 years ago, current look obtained some 2000 years ago. Gauja river was still flowing over the current meadows at the front of cave around 1780.
During the tourism season the cave is visited by more than 1,5 mio visitors.
Inscriptions on the walls: Ancient inscriptions testify that the cave was visited in old ages already. One inscription from 1564 was preserved until 1812. One guidebook from 1912 mentions one inscription from 1521 - initials HDOM and IUI 19, found on the left wall of the cave.
Nowadays there is clearly seen inscription “Anna Magdalena Von Tiesenhausen anno 1677”. There is also “Georg Conrad von Ungern-Sternberg anno 1668”. Next inscriptions are from 1810. Since the 19th century publicists are worried about this craze of inscriptions at this wonderful monument of nature and culture. Contemporary inscriptions are rare here happily.
© 2005 Latvian Nature Heritage Fund Editor - Ansis Opmanis Design and code - Gatis Pavils