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3 June 2017 / leggypeggy

Checking out Kuldīga—a quaint town in Latvia

Sitting Room, Kuldīga Museum, Latvia

Sitting room

Several people suggested we have a look around Kuldīga, a town of more than 13500 people in western in Latvia. We were told it had a good museum, an interesting Old Town and the ‘biggest’ waterfall in Europe. We even saw a review on Trip Advisor that implied the waterfall was the most impressive in Europe.

One look at the accompanying picture had us howling with laughter—it resembled an overflowing bathtub. But the promise of a good museum and a bit of pretty old town (bunch of pics just below without captions) was enough to pique our interest.

Kuldīga Old town, Latvia

When we got to town, we parked the car near the centre, stopped at tourist information, grabbed a map, and set out to explore the Old Town and find this waterfall.

So let’s get the waterfall (called Venta Rumba) out of the way first. It’s not the biggest in Europe—it’s the widest at 800 feet. And while it’s not a raging torrent, it is absolutely gorgeous. Apparently in spring, you can watch the fish flying up the ledge; due to this, Kuldīga was once famous as a ‘place where they catch salmon in the air’.

When we were there quite a few people were swimming and playing in the water and others were wading across the wide expanse. It looked about knee deep to wade. The setting was breathtaking and we could see why people had such high praise for it. The main pic of it is at the bottom of the post—I saved it for last.

The Old Town was very interesting too. Cobbled streets and ancient buildings. As much as I love to look at cobblestones, I hate to walk over them. At an earlier tourist stop, we met a woman in a wheelchair. She’d fallen on the cobblestones in Riga—recovery four weeks.

Kuldīga Town Centre, Latvia

Luckily, I haven’t fallen over YET, but I look down a lot into between times of looking up and around.

After the Old Town, we walked through the town park to get to the waterfall and the museum. The museum overlooks the river and falls (talk about prime real estate), and has been in the same location since 1940.

We met Liene and Līga (by the way, the line over the letter i is called a macron) when we arrived at the museum and paid our 1 euro each for admission. Goodness that was money well spent.

The museum has more than 100,000 items (obviously not all on display) covering archaeology, ethnography and numismatics (currency).

Kuldīga Museum, dining room, Latvia

For example, there are written documents from the 13th century, furniture and household goods from past citizens of Kuldīga, art, photographs, and items recalling the Jewish community that lived in the town.

Two other displays especially caught my attention. There’s an amazing collection of playing cards that a resident donated to the museum. Methinks he got sick of storing and looking after them. They are very cleverly displayed in sliding drawers (both horizontal and vertical). Given my past life in printing and journalism, I was also drawn to the scrapbook of old labels done by the printing house that used to operate in the town.

Liene, whose English is absolutely superb, accompanied us for much of our trip around the museum. While almost all the exhibits are described in multiple languages, her explanations were always even more enlightening. And see the pic (above) showing how the language sheets are identified! Clever thinking.

Kuldīga Museum, labels

Selection of labels

After touring the museum, Liene recommended a restaurant, Pagrabins, and told us to order their rustic grey peas with vegetables stew.

We followed orders, and it was fantastic. And I completely forgot to photograph the meal. Oops.

On our way back to the car, we saw a little girl enjoying the random jets of water sent up by the town fountain. Pity that I missed some of the best shots.

That’s all from me on Kuldīga. Do stop if you are ever in the neighbourhood. It’s even worth going out of your way.

Ventas rumba, Kuldiga

The beautiful Ventas rumba—not Europe’s biggest, but its widest

Bridge, River Venta, Latvia

Bridge over the River Venta

Kuldīga Museum, view to river

Museum overlooks the river

42 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Brian Lageose / Jun 3 2017 8:10 am

    I’m assuming that you snatched up that wonderful gramophone as a souvenir for me. Thank you!…. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dfolstad58 / Jun 3 2017 8:14 am

    Thank you for the beautiful and informative post. That town looks lovely, magical. I love your pictures and your narrative. Comfortable to read and with a slight bit of whimsy. Travel seems out of the question due to my health but I am still enjoying the location vicariously.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 3 2017 2:05 pm

      So sorry to hear that health keeps you from travelling. You are always most welcome on our jaunts.
      Thanks for appreciating my blog style.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. AdashofJhaee / Jun 3 2017 8:19 am

    Thanks for the tour of the lovey town. Your photos are beautiful I like the collection of the clocks💕💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Year I Touched My Toes / Jun 3 2017 8:26 am

    The waterfall does look picturesque. Love the window with the view at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 3 2017 2:08 pm

      Thanks. It took quite a fews shots to get a pic through the window that was half decent.

      Like

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Jun 3 2017 8:36 am

    Kuldiga is a beautiful town, its heritage lovingly preserved. Was this city spared destruction during WWII, or has it been rebuilt? The museum is incredible, so much beauty of the last centuries on exhibit. I like the rumba and the way it kind of slides down one tiny level. Looking forward to your next stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 3 2017 2:21 pm

      I don’t think it was bombed. The museum covered the community’s history very comprehensively and didn’t have a display of pictures showing war destruction in the town. Next stop? Oh my, there have been so many! I have months worth of material.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dippy-Dotty Girl / Jun 3 2017 8:43 am

    Those timber-framed old buildings make me sigh for Europe. Nostalgia is hitting me, sitting here in America :-/

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jun 3 2017 2:15 pm

      Oh my, I can imagine. Those timber frames are so common here.

      Like

  7. Ken Berry / Jun 3 2017 9:41 am

    Just a note on the macron. It is of course also used in Māori. It is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘long’ — which is sensible since, in Māori at least, the letter under a macron is pronounced longer than usual. I imagine this is also the case with Latvian… But I wonder what role length plays when it comes to French Presidents!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 3 2017 2:16 pm

      I guess we shall see about French presidents. He’s starting out well. 🙂

      Like

  8. Vicki / Jun 3 2017 10:19 am

    Looks wonderful, especially the museum and old architecture.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 3 2017 2:23 pm

      My pleasure. We were so grateful that Kuldīga had been recommended and that we took the advice. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Alison and Don / Jun 3 2017 1:54 pm

    The waterfall is lovely, and the old town. I love European old towns – so much character, and so missing in Canada and Oz.
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 3 2017 2:26 pm

      I remember taking one of our exchange students to see Lanyon, a 140-year-old homestead south of Canberra. He liked it but remarked that his house in France was 600 years old. Pity that more of the early Aboriginal structures haven’t survived.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. afterthelasttime / Jun 3 2017 3:33 pm

    A very nice tucked away surprise!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lmo58 / Jun 3 2017 6:07 pm

    Thanks again Peggy for a really interesting description with great photos. The museum looks amazing! I know what you mean about cobblestones. They look very evocative but I’ve spent as much time looking at my feet as at anything else! The loose ones with gaps are especially tricky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 3 2017 6:09 pm

      Thanks Louise. I regard cobblestones as a sprained ankle waiting to happen.

      Like

  12. Wili / Jun 3 2017 6:59 pm

    I always love your posts, the beautiful pictures and your narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sadaf Siddiqi / Jun 3 2017 9:18 pm

    Beautiful place.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. spearfruit / Jun 3 2017 9:31 pm

    The pictures are amazing and the location beautiful. Thank you Peggy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. pvcann / Jun 4 2017 12:06 am

    Beauty, both natural and human made, some amazing sights.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. beetleypete / Jun 4 2017 3:08 am

    An interesting old town, and a fascinating museum too. I must get to Latvia one of these days.
    (I didn’t get this post from WP. Something made me look, and I’m glad I did.)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 4 2017 5:01 am

      Weird that it didn’t come to you through WP, but then I think WP has had all sorts of weird goings-on lately.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. lexklein / Jun 4 2017 4:32 am

    That IS a very pretty waterfall, even if it isn’t as grand as advertised! I’m in the midst of planning a big road trip right now, and it’s these kinds of small towns I am seeking out in between the bigger city stops. I wish I had started a file for every time I’ve read a post like this, so I could keep track of all these valuable hints. Perhaps your little town here will be first in my new info system!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 4 2017 5:02 am

      So where exactly is this road trip taking place? I’m happy to add suggestions.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. lexklein / Jun 4 2017 5:15 am

    Roughly Vienna –>Bratislava–>Slovakia and hiking in High Tatras–>Budapest–>passing through and short hikes in Slovenia and western Austria–>Prague! Keeping big city days short and hoping to spend more time in the countryside and/or small towns.

    If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them! We have time – trip is in September – and it might be easier to correspond through my blog email address: onefootoutthedoorblog.com, but please don’t feel obligated, Peggy! I know you are traveling now and generally busy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 4 2017 6:08 am

      Oh my, what a great itinerary. Probably can’t help much because I haven’t been to many of those places. I might have a few tips about Czech. Will dredge my memories from five years ago. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Robert Parker Teel / Jun 4 2017 11:19 am

    Interesting photos, I’ve never seen this town before. Handsome old tower and bridge. And I think I need a beer stein like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 4 2017 4:02 pm

      That is a classy stein. In a different museum, I saw a wooden one about 10 times that size.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. milliethom / Jun 11 2017 6:46 am

    It seems the town was well worth a visit and I bet you’re glad you went. I’d love to wade across the waterfall (on a very warm day, of course). The old buildings about the town are lovely and the museum looks so interesting. I’d spend ages browsing the many exhibits. Love the pretty bridge, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jun 12 2017 5:21 am

      It was way too cold for us to consider wading. I was impressed by those who were. But the town is well worth a visit and even an overnight stay.

      Like

  21. Forestwoodfolk / Aug 9 2017 6:04 pm

    It is a different kind of waterfall, but an interesting stop nevertheless. Love the old half timbered building

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Aug 9 2017 7:10 pm

      We really enjoyed our stop in Kuldīga—so rewarding.

      Like

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