Strenči and Seda

In the north-east of Latvia, the pearls of the Vidzeme rivers on the banks of the Gauja, in the area of ​​375.93 km² stretches Strenči municipality, which was established in 2009, uniting the towns of Strenči and Seda, as well as Jērcēni and Plāņi parishes.  The local residents insist: "We are rich because we have Jērcēnmuiža. We are temperamental because we have the town of Seda. We are recognizable because we have the international rafters town - Strenči. We are smart, because we have our own Castle of Light - Jaunklidža meeting house. We are all connected by the river Gauja."

The area around Strenči is historically and still today rich in forests. This, as well as the proximity of the Gauja, is closely connected with the formation of the town of Strenči - rafts, floats and forest fellers are starting to settle here for life and work. The settlement is growing. In 1889 the railway line Riga - Pskov was opened, in 1907 the Strenči psychoneurological hospital. As development continued, Strenči was granted town rights in 1928. As Strenči literally "grew up" from the forest industry and rafting, over time, the people began to call Strenči "the capital of Gauja rafts". Every year since the third week of May in 1998, the men of the “River Gauja Rafters Association” have been rafting, followed by a three-day rafting expedition along the Gauja river until the morning of the fourth day, when the raft is solemnly "plowed" on the bank of the Gauja in Strenči and the Gauja Rafters' Festival begins. People in this city respect, honor and continue the tradition of rafting wooden rafts.
Until the 20th century. In the 1950s, the present-day town of Seda was replaced by a forest. The construction of the village of Seda was started in 1953 according to the draft general plan developed by the design organization of the USSR peat factory. Seda is a small town of compact buildings with a central square, star-shaped street layout, regular quarters, perimeter buildings and wide birch and linden alleys. The city has stately columns of the pompous Seda Culture House, which can be seen from the city center. There is an exposition of cultural and historical heritage, which introduces the history of the development of the surroundings of Seda. The town, built in the style of socialist urban planning and examples of Stalinist classicism architecture, is of special cultural and historical value.

Enjoy being in nature, experience the splendor, diversity and variability of nature. Take a walk along the Gauja nature trail, observing the landscape elements typical of the Vecupe, such as flooded islands, peculiar trees - the Drava oak, which holds evidence of beekeeping, an old fragment of a paved road and Strenči rapids, which are loved by boaters, and see wooden sculptures in Strenči. On the Gauja cultural-historical trail, get acquainted with witnesses of historical events and works - various objects tell about the history of forestry, ancient borders and roads, but stone piles in the forests make it necessary to mention the intentions of its creators. Unusual landscapes, mystery and enjoyment of absolute peace in Seda bog, where peat extraction has created a peculiar cultural landscape consisting of peat extraction fields, bog ponds and a narrow-gauge railway, which is used for peat extraction. Visit the 20th century Strenči, walking around the open-air photo exposition with photos from of the outstanding Strenči photographer Dāvis Spunde, in which the photos with the ancient urban environment depicted in it are oriented so that the same landscape can be seen today.