Relaxation and health centre “Imantas” offers rehabilitation and relaxation near one of the most beautiful and green places in Latvia – Jurkalnes steep bluff seaside in Courland. Beautiful nature surroundings relax and have the healing power by itself.
Hotel, restaurant, sauna and Scenar therapy cabinet are working throughout the year, and in addition double, 4-person and 5-person cottages and kitchen for client use is opened during summer season.
Both parts of the relaxation and health centre – Hotel “Imantas” and Campsite “Sīļi” are located in the old manor territory, 300m from the sea, at the strand of the river Rīva. This is a special place with old, impressive trees and wonderful untouched river valley, wooden bridge and waterfall.
There is a restaurant and bar available for the guests. Our chefs can cook meals for special diets recommended by doctors or dieticians. There is also a pool room, TV and resting corner by the fireplace available for guests.

We offer place, overnight stay, food and relaxation by the seaside for seminars, family celebrations, weddings and cooperative events. This is also a wonderful place for sports activities in free and clean environment.
There is a possibility of catching fish such as flounders in the sea in autumn. From November till the end of January there is a possibility to join a licensed lamprey fishing with a grilling afterwards by the river.
Hotel "Imantas” is opened throughout all year.

 

Do you know the Latvian place where the sea can sometimes be just as green as a fresh birch leaf?
Do you know the Latvian place where the sea can sometimes be so fierce that the banks surrender?
Do you know the Latvian place where the sea mist sometimes tumbles up as a fluffy gray cat in your lap?
Do you know the Latvian place where the sea and the shore are separated?
If you do not know, then listen (in Latvian it is ‘tell’ but we wouldn’t say that in English) - it is the place called Jūrkalne.

Look on a Latvian map and somewhere in the middle between Ventspils and Liepaja you will see the name Jūrkalne. Have a look at the map even more closely - to the right and left of Jūrkalne - and you’ll be able to make out a few more local names – Ulmale village and the neighboring Pāvilosta, and the Užavas river meandering to flow into the Baltic Sea near the city of Ventspils.
And if you noticed them, you know - between these points is what is commonly referred to as the captive sea cliffs.
That's it. In the same way as it is not possible to describe the Gioconda’s smile, these words are ending by saying that one simply cannot describe in words the features inherent in the bluff and sea at Jūrkalne.

During the Middle Ages, Jūrkalne had another name. According to legend, a ship in these waters was threatened and all were facing death, and the captain promised – “If we are lucky enough to escape, a church will be built on this site.” This point of rescue was like a seed on Jūrkalnes bluff. The church was built and given a name - Feliksberga. A German name. Translation - Happy Hill ...
Jūrkalne – a place to really fall in love.
 
Didzis Pakalns

 

Recreation and health center "Imantas" is located in Labrags, Jurkalnes parish in Western Kurland, between Ventspils, Liepaja and Kuldiga.

 

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Jūrkalne seashore bluffs.




sea bluffsJūrkalne seashore bluffs are one of the most picturesque sea shores of the Baltic Sea in Latvia with a quiet beach, untouched by civilisation, and impressive bluffs of up to 20 m high. It offers extensive possibilities for both leisurely and active recreation..

Special steps lead from the bluffs to the beach which have already been restored several times, since every year the shore is receding by several meters because of the strong storms. Experts say that this is an ideal place for para-gliding.


 

Wooden bridge over the river Riva is the only brace system wooden bridge in Latvia and possibly also in Europe.




wooden_bridgeIn Europe wooden bridges with brace system has been known from the Middle Ages. Nowadays, with high European standards, wooden bridges lost its significance. However, as recognized by the road and bridge construction specialists, the hundreds of years of bridge building traditions should be preserved in memory as carpentry and engineering skills certificate. The bridge and its surrounding historical and cultural value is also reflected by the fact that the bridge was awarded in cultural monument status.

At the beginning of the XX century there was a watermills and woolen fabric on the river Riva. The existing storage waterfall, a scenic river valley and historic bridge looks perfectly in the Kurzeme tourism routes.

The bridge reconstruction between 2001 and 2002 were done by "M.A. - Taka" ltd. A major funding provided by Latvian Road Administration.
At the renewed bridge opening event on 25 May 2002, the project creators, funders and performers of the work hit symbolic nails in the bridge parapets.

In 2008, realizing the project "Drive slowly over the bridge, friends!", was replaced damaged bridge deck.
In 2009, realizing the project "Live Riva river!" was cleaned and restored the fish way through an existing storage waterfall.

 

The boundary stone is located on the longest parallel which crosses our country. It is 57° 00' parallel.



aldaris_stoneOr is it destiny or simple coincidence, but the biggest brewer in Latvia - corporation "Aldaris" is located on the longest parallel which crosses our land and share many cities, and parishes. It is 57° 00' parallel. By identifying his geographic location "Aldaris" in 1999 had a great idea – to mark the places where 57°00' parallel crosses "Aldaris" and Latvian eastern and western borders with special stone marks.

The journey begins on "Aldaris" backyard. Here was the first stone sign as proof that Aldaris actually present in the 57° 00' latitude. The second boundary stone was opened on the Latvian border in the eastern Latgale in the Upites parish. The third boundary stone was opened on 21 August 1999 in Jurkalne. This stone shows where the 57° 00' parallel crosses the sea and the western Latvian border.

However, the "Aldaris" was not the first to be interested in 57° 00' parallel. In 1994 the idea was launched by the Tukums Museum of History, Tukums District Tourist Information Centre and Renda (Kuldiga district) municipality's creative team, who examined 57 ° 00 'parallel. Corporation "Aldaris" and production group "Acanthes" under actor’s Gundars Āboliņš leadership wanted to support this idea and develop it further, for the first time making a journey along the parallel through the whole of Latvia.

 

 

The church was built in 1861 and consecrated in 1862.




catolic_churchJurkalne’s first church was rinsed into the sea. It had been built between the 1590 and 1610 years and existed as a branch of the Alsvanga church. Later, in the 1786, with the support of Duke of Courland Peter Biron were built a new stone church, at which have also been a graveyard. Those graves rinsed into the sea during the first Latvian independence. From this church has remained only the metal cross with a crescent-like cross at the bottom. In 1862 was consecrated present stone church.

In 1853 Dean in his report about dean's chapels says that Jurkalne’s chapel has collapsed from old age. The details of this deplorable fact is mentioned in the 1857th Dean of law. The Bishop of Zhemaitija has demanded a review from the dean of Courland - or require the church in Jurkalne.
catolic_church2In 2 March 1857 the Dean Landsbergis reported to Bishop that Jurkalne had a stone chapel over two hundred years, but when it started crumbling from age, it was ripped off. The church in Jurkalne really is necessary because the Alsvanga church was too far from Jurkalne and also small. On the Sundays even half worshipers remain on the outside, in the church to them is not enough space.

The third (existing) church in Jurkalne was built in 1861, and next year it consecrated sv. Joseph, on the occasion. Church extended in 1870 by building a tower at the entrance. Church has two altars. There are two bells in the tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ulmales - Labraga Lutheran Church was built in 1896.




church_labragsThe church was built in 1896. There is a famous altar piece - "Christ on the Cross and the St. Mary Magdalene" in the church. Altar piece was painted in XIX century by T.Sprengels.
The Legend tells that the church was built because the landlord of Labrags had a daughter whom he wanted to marry in church. Then he built the Lutheran Church.

Ulmales-Labraga church currently has 54 registered members. Church heating is inefficient therefore the church activities during the winter is minimal. During the summer months worship is well attended - about 30 people, because Jurkalne is a popular summer holiday location.

 

 

 

 

 

Commemorative Mark “Sail of Hope” devoted to the Latvian refugees to Sweden in 1944 – 1945.




wooden_bridgeDuring the period from autumn 1944 until the spring 1945, fearing the USSR re-occupation but not wanting to evacuate to the ruined and threatened by the Soviet army Germany, some of Latvia citizens tried to travel by sea to neutral Sweden.

Why do the people of Baltic countries fled to other countries?

The Sovietisation of the Baltic began with the destruction of their democratic institutions and the introduction of a dictatorial collectivist system foreign and unacceptable to the Baltic peoples; this process was carried out by brute force, although outwardly it was made to appear quasi-legal.
soviet-occupationSimultaneously, the national elements were persecuted and destroyed, their personal rights and liberties suppressed, terror and arbitrary police rule introduced, entire families arrested, deported and killed. In the course of the first year of this regime of violence, in 1940/41, the Soviet authorities executed, imprisoned and deported 150,000 Baltic nationals. The Red terror was so formidable that at the impending reoccupation of the Baltic area by the Red Army in the autumn of 1944, masses of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians were forced to escape westwards in order to save their life, their liberty, their freedom of thought and their civilised traditions, which were incompatible with the suffocating atmosphere of ignorance and mental as well as physical terror inseparably associated with the Soviet regime.

The stream of Baltic fugitives in the summer and autumn of 1944 turned in all directions that offered a chance of ecape. There was no choice. Only a part of them succeeded in evading the advancing Red steam-roller. In the absence of a better refuge, the majority had to go to Germany, where there are about 250,000 Balts. A minority, about 30,000, managed to escape to Sweden, only smaller groups reaching other countries. Those who fled to Germany, eventually, like the other refugees and DP's, came under the care of the Allied occupation authorities and UNRRA, now replaced by IRO, and still remain in their DP camps.

The situation in Sweden, a neutral country which had given refuge to numerous fugitives during the war, was quite different. Here the readiness of the Swedish people to support the victims of misfortune as well as the profoundly democratic nature of the political regime, made it possible to solve the problem of these uninvited guests in a manner which in its humanity and reasonableness might well serve as an example to the rest of the world.
70% of the Baltic refugees are integrated in the national labour system. This percentage is higher than anywhere else in Europe or overseas, and even higher than it normally used to be in the Baltic countries themselves. This is largely because the refugees, having lost all they possessed at home, are now tenaciously trying to consolidate thier economic basis and to attain a living standard comparable to that which they enjoyed in their own home countries.

Moving across the sea to Sweden was very dangerous because refugees threatened by the German patrols, naval mines, Soviet aircraft and warships, as well as storms. The boats were overloaded and unsuitable for high seas, without sufficient fuel and food stocks, marine maps and navigational instruments. Depart from Latvia happened in secret, usually without reference. For these reasons the Latvian refugees in Sweden can be estimated only approximately - about 5,000 persons.
Refugee boat goal was the closest part of the Swedish territory – Gotland Island. From Jurkalne to the Gotland Island air line is 90 nautical miles or about 170 kilometers. The fact that Jurkalnes parish has been one of the largest concentrations of refugees to Sweden, evidenced by the fact that in 18 november 1944 was illegal Latvian intellectuals meeting, devoted to the Latvia establishing anniversary. The meeting took place in home “Bambali” in Jurkalne.

The project author is a sculptor Girts Burvis. The noticeable gap in the sail is the symbol of divorce drama, the difficulties and pain of our nation abroad.

Commemorative Mark was created by the initiative of State Cultural Heritage in cooperation with the Jurkalne parish council.
Implementation of the project funded by the Culture Capital Foundation with the support of the Latvia State President Vaira Vike – Freiberga.


These words of the Latvian writer Janis Jaunsudrabins speak to the heart of the matter:

"Latvians, whatever lands you may come to, — proclaim the name of Latvia!
Never and nowhere in your life will you ever hear a more beautiful word than this word; whoever of you carries this word forth, shirk not, therefore, from spreading it far and wide; cease not to praise our country—Fathers, inculcate it into your children; mothers, sing of it by your children's and grandchildren's cribs; but, if you are a child born in exile,—relent not in ceaslessly interrogating your parents about this land. Let Latvia be in your thoughts and imaginings as a distant, beautiful island in the sea of the world; as you sail your course through life, always keep your bow pointing towards it. Day or night, dusk or dawn,—keep it in your thoughts, utter its name, fall in love it ever more passionately!"