Home / Things to do / Enter History

Āraiši lake fortress Archaelogical Park

There is unique object in the park - reconstructed ancient settlement from 9th-10th centuries on the lake. Reconstruction is made based on results of archaeological excavation in the Āraiši lake island. The Park also have medieval castle ruins, reconstrucitons of dwellings from Stone and Bronze Ages.
To reduce contact between park employees and guests, please purchase an e-ticket via the ticket site Bezrindas.lv: https://www.bezrindas.lv/lv/araisu-ezerpils-arheologiska-parka-apmeklejums-2/9204/ before the visit. After the transaction is concluded, the purchased ticket will be sent to the specified email address. It will be possible to show it to the controller both electronically and printed.


Āraišu ezerpils Archaeological park can be visited both individually and in groups. It is possible to go on a guided tour, experience educational programmes classes and other special programs. There are entertaining, traditional and popular scientific events and craft demonstrations.

In the complex: Parking, picnic areas, swing, coffee, WC, bicycle pump and a map with surrounding bicycle routes.

Offers: Guided excursions about the lifestyle of ancient Latgallians and building traditions. Visitor center. Activities for weddings.

The Āraiši windmill and the church can be seen nearby (find out more here) .

Tickets

Adults 4,00 EUR
Students, pensioners  – 3,00 EUR
Family ticket (1-2 adults and 1-2 youth (7-18 years)) – 11,00 EUR
Preschool childrens – Free
Parking, WC free

Languages of communication: Latvian, Russian, English.

About Āraiši lake fortress Archaelogical Park

Āraiši lake fortress Archaeological Park is a place where it is possible to get to know the history from the Stone Age to the end of the Middle Ages.

The most unusual object in it is Āraiši lake fortress - a fortified place of residence of the ancient Latgallians on the lake island in the Iron Age. Only 10 such settlements are known in Latvia and Āraiši lake fortress is the only reconstruction. The Lake Castrle researcher archaeologist Jānis Apals has pointed out that the evidence obtained during the excavations was so unusually well preserved that it was absolutely necessary to try to build it again. Currently, all the houses planned on the island can be seen in the lake fortress , and since the summer of 2020, an important addition has been made - a protective building and a gate - which provide an opportunity to get the most authentic feelings during the visit.

Part of the former world of lake fortress residents can be seen in the Āraišu ezerpils Archaeological park Visitor Center. There is a special exposition in it, where you can see both rare and unique, as well as very common evidence of the lake castle. It is also worth getting acquainted with the fascinating story of life and lake fortress research by archaeologist Jānis Apals.

About the first inhabitants of the territory of Latvia, centuries before the construction of the lake fortress, it is possible to find out on "Meitu Island", where Stone and Bronze Age buildings can be found. They have been made as ideal reconstructions according to the results of archeological research throughout Latvia.

Āraiši stone castle, built in the second half of the 14th century, was built several centuries after the lake fortress. It once served as a military and economic adjacent castle to Cēsis Castle.

Video surveillance is carried out in the area!

The landscape seen in Āraiši is the result of a millennial interaction between man and nature.

It is recommended to start the route at Āraiši lake fortress, which was built and inhabited in the 9th - 10th century. It was a place permanently inhabited by ancient Latgalians, which was built on an island in Lake Āraiši for protection. It is based on archeological excavations carried out here, during which about 3,700 antiquities, about 100,000 fragments of dishes and 151 remains of the building were found.
 
Āraiši castle ruins are located very close to Āraiši lake fortress. The square castle-type castle on the peninsula of Lake Āraiši was inhabited from the second half of the 14th century to the beginning of the 17th century. The castle has the shape of a square facing the sky and it is separated from the forecourt by a moat, the remains of which can be easily traced even today.
 
Drabeši manor is definitely worth a visit. It was formed in the 18th-19th century, in addition, to this day, 12 manor - related buildings have survived. The manor house, which is also surrounded by a beautiful park, was burned down in 1905, but was restored in later years.
 
Āraiši windmill is located in the highest place of the neighborhood with beautiful surroundings. One of the few Dutch-type windmills in Latvia, the mechanism of which is able to work.
 
If you come to visit this side, it is worth going to the Āraiši Lutheran Church. It was first built in 1225, but the history of this building has been variegated like a woodpecker's belly - it was rebuilt several times, until in 1791 it got its current appearance.
 
From Drabeši manor to Āraiši windmill, the road section is especially scenic - with a view of the Āraiši lake area. These places are a common nesting place for many birds, including corncrakes and reeds. Here you can see white storks, which in the spring have just settled in nests and formed new families, brown shrubs, whistles, but in the evenings you can also hear the nightingale.
 
A scenic section of the road also from Āraiši windmill to the Swedish pine - with a view of the lake, lake castle, church and windmill. Swedish pine is located 250 meters north of the Āraiši windmill, and its circumference is quite impressive - close to two meters.
 
It is worth adding that you can ask for a more detailed route map or additional information, as well as guide services at the Ezerpils Information Center. The route with GPS is available in the mobile application "Enter Gauja".
 
You will get more information about the route at the newly established Tourism information centre at the Lake fortress. 


Back to top