Krimulda Castle Ruins

Sigulda, Latvia

The Krimulda Castle dates from the 14th century and was destroyed in a war in 1601. During the 13th century the left bank of the Gauja river was governed by the Order of the Brethren of the Sword, (later known as the Order of Livonia), while the territories on the right bank were under the domain of the Archbishop of Riga. Krimulda castle belonged to the Riga High Council which was a group of twelve high priests who advised the archbishop.

Krimulda castle was built on the edge of a high bank on the right side of Gauja near the Vikmeste castle mound and the village of Livs. This placement made it nearly impossible to conquer. On one side it was protected by the steep valley wall of Gauja river, two additional sides were obstructed by the Vikmeste river, which had equally steep banks, and the fourth side bordered on a man-made ravine with a draw-bridge leading into the forecastle. The deep valley of the Vikmeste River also provided a natural borderline between the lands of Krimulda and Turaida. The castle was built using large-sized boulders. The outer wall of the castle at ground level was about 2 meters thick.

The castle was involved in a number of battles between the Livonian Order and the Archbishop of Riga as well as many of the later wars of Livonia. In the spring of 1601 during the Swedish-Polish war, it was conquered by the Swedish army. In the fall of that same year advancing Polish troops burned the castle down so it would not fall into the hands of the enemy. The castle was left unrepaired after the fire.

The castle regained purpose in the mid-19th century under the ownership of Prince Liven. Not as a military fortification but as a romantic addition to a park. From here you will find a beautiful overlook point, named 'Bellevue', where you can enjoy the numerous picturesque bends of the Gauja River.

Prince Liven’s living house was built in the classic style. The manor complex consists of steward’s house, coach house, Swiss cottage, etc. Home wine tasting is available by prior arrangement.

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Details

Founded: ca. 1255
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Latvia
Historical period: State of the Teutonic Order (Latvia)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Yuri (12 months ago)
If you came to Latvia for sightseeing and beautiful nature, well maintained territory and close location of all three castles (Sigulda, Turaida and Krimulda) will easily make your day out. This route is highly recommended and I hope you will enjoy your Day out.
Andrew Z. (15 months ago)
Nothing special just ruins of castle
Nosheen W. (2 years ago)
Well preserved but not much to see. Would not recommend going there just for the sake of it. As part of cable car ride, it was good to walk around krimulda. There was even a small wooden walking bridge nearby.
Craig Carroll (2 years ago)
It is pretty amazing to see old ruins like these. The old walls are still very visible. The view of the valley from this castle would have been amazing back in the day.
Dana (4 years ago)
There is basically only one wall left but the place around it is very nice, you can take a long walk around it and there are so many awesome places to take photos. Oh,and you can walk with your dog there.
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