A viewing spot at the high Beite ravine. They acquired their name after the Russian Emperor Alexander II visited Sigulda.
Since the 19th century, tourists in Sigulda have visited the overlook spots where one can view the ancient valley of the Gauja river. These overlooks are titled the Emperor’s chair and the Emperor’s View both named for the visit of Alexander II, Tzar of Russia.
Prior to the Tzar’s visit, many areas of Sigulda and Krimulda underwent improvements. In addition to the overlook points, a serpentine trail and a temporary wooden bridge were built. It is believed that both the Tzar and his wife each planted a linden tree during their visit. The Tzar was so moved by the magnificent scenery that the overlook was thereafter called the Emperor’s chair.
The Tzar and his entourage also paid a visit to the family of Prince von Borh, stayed overnight with Livens, and visited the Kampenhauzens who were the owners of Turaida manor.
Greeting such a prominent guest was met with much grandeur. Honorary gates were erected and decorated with flags and flowers. People of all stations flocked to Sigulda to see and greet the tzar with “happy cheering and hurraying”. One account recalls that the local men stood with torches on both sides of the road from Sigulda to Turaida. Later that night when visiting Krimulda there was a fireworks display. Long after the Emperor’s departure, local people continued to talk about the visit to the point where ‘the dishes the Emperor used were left on the table and the bed where he slept left unmade” in order to keep the memory alive.