This summer, the first of seven symbolic paths for the development of Latvia’s cultural and natural heritage has been fully completed – the “Way of Light through the Centuries”. Seven important objects of Vidzeme’s cultural and historical heritage have been renovated and developed with the co-financing of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) attracted by the Ministry of Culture, said Dace Vizule, public relations specialist of the Ministry of Culture.
The works were carried out with the aim to restore the Alūksne castle ruins South tower, Pavilion-rotunda, Mausoleum, Alūksne station luggage barn in Alūksne region, Cesvaine castle in Cesvaine region, Stāmeriena castle in Gulbene region and Smiltene Evangelical Lutheran Church.
In order for the facilities to function fully, new and innovative services have also been created, thus ensuring the availability of a high-quality and diverse cultural environment that will promote the economic development of the region, attract tourists, create interest in history, pride in local culture and traditions.
The contribution of ERDF funding has made it possible to restore the South Tower of the Alūksne castle ruins to a historical extent, supplementing it with an exploratory tour “Marienburg Castle”. The Pavilion has been restored in Alūksne – in the castle mound of the rotunda Temple Hill, the decorative lighting of the object and the built architectural forms has been installed. The Mausoleum has been restored in the park of Alūksne manor, an interactive projection has been installed, which provides a message about the history of the place and the personalities associated with it.
In the course of the project, the luggage barn of Alūksne station was rebuilt, the adjacent territory was improved and the historical platform was restored. The renovated luggage barn of the station has created a multimedia exposition involving visitors about the history of the creation and operation of the Alūksne – Gulbene narrow-gauge railway, which has already earned international recognition.
The roof of the central part of Cesvaine Castle has been restored in the project, ensuring full use of the castle premises. Cesvaine Castle has an exposition about the rebirth of the castle and an exhibition of contemporary art “Fiber Art”. The roof and facade of Stāmeriena Castle have been restored and restored, an exposition about the history of Stāmeriena Castle and the Wolf family has been created, the roof of Smiltene Evangelical Lutheran Church has been restored, a viewing area has been set up in the church tower and an exposition has been created.
The project “The Way of Light through the Centuries” was implemented by Alūksne municipality in cooperation with Gulbene and Cesvaine municipalities and Smiltene Evangelical Lutheran Church. within the specific support objective “Preservation, protection and development of significant cultural and natural heritage, as well as related services”.
The total costs of the project are 4,231,668.41 euros, including ERDF co-financing 1,878,000.00 euros, eligible municipal budget financing 217,488.98 euros, state budget grants to local governments 89,066.90 euros, private eligible costs 24,855.88 euros. Local government and parish co-financing 2,022,256.65 euros.
The restoration of cultural heritage continues in the symbolic cultural heritage roads “Freedom Road”, “Daugava Road”, “Baltic Road”, “Jacob Road”, “Livu Road” and “Maras Road”. By the end of 2022, within the framework of heritage roads, it is planned to restore and develop more than 50 significant cultural and natural heritage objects throughout Latvia.
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