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Sigulda Thrills
24.03.2019 Day
5o C, ZR ZR. 4m/s
24.03.2019 Night
-1o C, DR DR. 4m/s
25.03.2019 Day
4o C, ZR ZR. 4m/s

Events in Sigulda 2019!

Enjoy attractions in Sigulda Water Park

Don't miss the last chance to try winter rides!

Creative workshops at Sigulda Castle complex!

Get amazed by the ride with Cable car

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The Bridge over Gauja River
The Bridge over Gauja River

In 1937, two bridges in the world opened which were both unique for their technical solutions to a situation. One of them was the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco; the other was the bridge over Gauja River in Sigulda. This bridge has triple-fold monolithic reinforced concrete arches with trestle transitions on both ends. It is the only bridge with this structure and technical execution in Latvia.

 

Until 1937, all pedestrians, horse drawn carriages and random automobiles were taken across by ferry. Data shows that in 1862, in preparation for the visit of Russian Tzar Alexander II, a wooden summer bridge was built over the Gauja River. The ferry was located about 1 km/ 0.6 miles upstream. However, the ferry was not able to accommodate all who needed to use it and it was also closed during the winter and spring ice flow. Therefore, a decision was made to build a bridge over Gauja River near Sigulda.

 

The idea of a bridge was conceived back in the twenties but, for various reasons, was delayed. The engineer Tomel designed the bridge and, at the time of his death in 1936, the bridge foundation and supports had been completed. Further work on the bridge was done by professor Karlis Gailis, but design of structural supports was entrusted to an engineer, Professor Pavils Pavulans. The bridge was opened on July 23rd, 1937. In attendance were President Karlis Ulmanis, Minister of Transportation Bernhard Einberg and thousands of viewers.

 

The bridge was blessed by both Pastor Baumanis of Krimulda church and Pastor Brederman of Sigulda church. During the first period of Latvian independence, the bridge was depicted on the 5 lats bank note.

 

Unfortunately the bridge was short-lived. Four years later in 1941 it was blown up and destroyed by the retreating Soviet army. For the next nine years there was no bridge over the Gauja River and transportation was again by ferry. The bridge was rebuilt in the same place in 1950. There was a shortage of both supplies and transportation. Rocks were chiseled on the building site at the same time the remaining pieces of the previous bridge were removed. Normally, there were about 50-60 people working at the site however, during peak hours when concrete was poured, there were nearly 700 people working at a time. The reopening of the bridge was a cause for real celebration among Siguldians.

In 2017 bridge was renovated. Now it has a new hydro-isolation and new asphalt cover. The bridge has enlarged sidewalks (formerly one metre wide, now - 2.5 m) so that it is easy to use for disabled persons and parents with prams.

The bridge now offers a secure connection between the roads from Sigulda to Turaida, but you may want to choose any of the trails alongside the Gauja River to experience the primeval beauty of the valley.


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