Castle at Sigulda
|• Mayor||Uģis Mitrevics|
|• Total||18.2 km2 (7.0 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|Calling code||+371 67|
|Number of city council members||15|
Sigulda is on a picturesque stretch of the primeval Gauja river valley. Because of the reddish Devonian sandstone which forms steep rocks and caves on both banks of the river, Sigulda has been called the "Switzerland of Vidzeme".
After the restoration of Latvian independence in 1991, an emphasis was placed on conserving Sigulda's public monuments and parks as well as improving the town's tourist sector. Supported by the town council, a traditional Opera Festival takes place in an open-air music hall in the castle ruins each summer. A Town Festival is celebrated in May when cherry trees blossom, while Sigulda is known for the colors of its trees in autumn. Sports such as skiing, bobsledding, and the luge are popular in wintertime and bungee jumping is practiced during the rest of the year.
The Gutmanis Cave lies halfway between Sigulda Castle and Turaida Castle and has a small stream flowing from it. It is the largest cave in the Baltics, measuring 19 m (62.34 ft) deep, 12 m (39.37 ft) wide and 10 m (32.81 ft) high. The cave still bears inscriptions from as early as the 17th century; drinking the water is supposed to be healthy and is said to increase one's lifespan. From the cave it is possible to climb into the hills and take the cable car over the river valley.
The town's population has been growing every year since 2000. 86% of the population is Latvian, 9% Russian, 3% Belarusian, 2% others. In 2007 Sigulda celebrated its 800th anniversary.
Points of interest
- Aerodium Latvia
- Gauja National Park
- Gutmanis Cave
- Krimulda Castle
- Sigulda bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track
- Sigulda Castle
- Sigulda Medieval Castle
- Turaida Castle
Twin towns/sister cities
Sigulda is a member of the Douzelage, a unique town twinning association of 24 towns across the European Union. This active town twinning began in 1991 and there are regular events, such as a produce market from each of the other countries and festivals. Discussions regarding membership are also in hand with three further towns (Agros in Cyprus, Škofja Loka in Slovenia, and Tryavna in Bulgaria).
- Other twinnings
- Milda Lauberte – Latvia's leading female chess player for decades
- Sandis Ozoliņš – Latvian ice hockey player, Stanley Cup champion
- Andris Šics – Latvian luger, who has won a silver medal in the men's doubles event at Vancouver in 2010 and two bronze medals at Sochi in 2014 with his brother Juris Šics.
- Juris Šics – Latvian luger, who has won a silver medal in the men's doubles event at Vancouver in 2010 and two bronze medals at Sochi in 2014 with his brother Andris Šics.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Sigulda.|
Media related to Sigulda at Wikimedia Commons