Valmiera

There are several versions about the origin of the name, but here are the two most popular.

The first is connected with Prince Vladimir of Pskov, whom Riga bishop Albert appointed to be the judge in Idumeja. The second tells about the Danish Kind Valdemar, who won a fight with the help of a flag that was sent from heaven. During different centuries and in documents the town's name has been written differently - Wolmaria, Wolmahr, Waldemer and Wolmar.

 

1224 - Valmieras becomes dependant from Order of the Brothers of the Sword, who built a stone castle.

The building of St. Simon's church starts in 1282.

 

1323 - Valmiera is governed by a magistrate and this testifies that Valmiera is one of the oldest towns in Latvia. 1365 - Valmiera becomes a member of the Hanseatic City League.

13 - 15 century - a small settlement is established on Luca Hill.

 

14 - 16 century - Valmiera is a typical town of the Middle Ages, surrounded by stone walls and hosting regular meeting of Livonian towns and landtags.

1560 - during the Livonia War - the warriors of the Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible destroy the neighborhood of Valmiera, but cannot occupy the town.

 

1583 - after the war of Livonia the destroyed town is included in the Cēsis bishopric that belonged to Poland. 1622 - Valmiera is occupied by warriors of the Swedish King Gustav Adolf and the town together with several other towns and castles in Vidzeme are presented to the Swedish State Chancellor Aksel Uksenshern, a part of his family's coat of arms (a forehead of a red ox) is part of Valmiera's town emblem.

1702 - during the Northern War military troops of the Russian Tsar Peter the Great destroyed the town that had just enjoyed a golden age under Swedish rule.

 

1802 - a vast peasants' protest movement against noblemen's violence take place in the neighborhood of Valmiera and is known as the Peasant's Rebellion of Kauguri.

1889 - the railway line Riga - Pskov is opened promoting the development of the town.

End of 19th and beginning of 20th centuries - several important educational establishments are founded in Valmiera - the School for the hearing impaired, Valka-Valmiera Teacher's Seminar, a women gymnasium. This turns the town into an educational centre of Vidzeme.

1905 - the first Latvian President Kārlis Ulmanis works in Valmiera within the Baltic Agricultural Association fostering the cooperation of peasants in Latvia.

1920s - 1930s - after the establishment of the Republic of Latvia, Valmiera becomes an important administrative, economic, educational, cultural and sports centre of Northern Vidzeme. The famous Valmiera mineral water is discovered. Hundreds of spectators gather for competitions where the world champion Jānis Daliņš takes part in speed walking competitions.

September 1944 - German military troops withdraw from Valmiera and the Red Army occupies the town. This is disastrous because 1/3 of all the town's houses and almost all of the historical centre of Valmiera burns down.