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Monuments ›  Caves ›  Caves in the western part of Vidzeme ›  Devil's Cellar

Devil's Cellar

Picture by I. Krauze

Cave in 1927

Coordinates: N 57°52'08,2" E 25°00'30,4"

Location: Valmiera district, Mazsalaca municipality, right bank of Salaca River, upper part of Sunu (Nelku) cliffs;

Description: Significant monument of culture - ancient cult site. There are many legends which testify this place to be connected with paganic cults. The archaeological excavations thus far have not been extensive enough to reach the layer with artefacts.

Current cave is just a small part of the former enormous cave. Narrow entrance leads into larger hall - Devil's cellar. Here the ceiling is up to 3,4 m high, width - 9 m, area of the floor of whole cave - 68 m².

First excavations at the entrance of the cave done in 1876 - there was found archaeological layer with charcoal. Later it was covered by large landslides. J. Urtans made an unsuccessful attempt to reach this archaeological layer in 1985 .

This unique formation is located high above the river. Most likely there were enormous cavities - much larger than the present day Gutmanala (largest cave in Latvia) once ago. Earlier the cave was located nearer to the river. Regular landslides have moved it higher above the level of the river and made smaller.

Landslides blocked the Vella skabuma kerne spring and it found another way out of the cliff.
According to legend this cave has been created by Devil.



Circa 1920

Circa 1935

Picture by J. Urtans, August 1985. Entrance has been cleared during the archaeological excavations.

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