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By Editor . 05.11.2008

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The city of Alūksne is an undiscovered gem of northern Latvia.


Situated on a stunning lake, the 11th largest in Latvia, there are plenty of eye-catching views and charming sights to see. Alūksne’s main claim to fame is the German minister Ernest Glück, who translated the Bible into Latvian here in 1685 (Old Testament) and 1689 (New Testament). The two oak trees that he planted there to commemorate the event are still standing to this day, in front of the house where he once lived, which nowadays is the Priests’ Manor House. One can also visit the nearby Glück Bible Museum, the only one of its kind in Europe.

Once you’re there, take a walk around the Alūksnes Muiza Parks (the New Castle of Alūksne Park). From there you have a view of Marijas Island, which is accessible by bridge, as well as the intriguing Temple Hill on the Cemetary Hill Peninsula (Kapsētas Pussala), with its prominent Greek-style rotunda, and the sun bridge, which is reminiscent of a Roman aqueduct. Stroll down to the lake and stop off for a meal at “Pie Martas” (Marta’s Place) at the end of Pilssalas iela. After that, you can cross the wooden bridge and head across the bridge to explore Marija Island, or Castle Island.

Alūksne’s lakes and hills mean that there’s always something to do here, no matter what the season. In winter you can choose from skiing or ice skating, and in summer rent a boat to get a different perspective on the city, with a view from the water, or simply relax and lay on the beach. If it’s warm enough you may even venture into the water for a dip, although it’s probably quite chilly all year round!


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