Wrapped in legends and stories, Zilaiskalns is a symbol of the nation’s freedom and immortality. Even today, it is a place where you can get up and rejuvenate. The hill was a special holy place for the ancient people, because there they celebrated their honor and performed ancient rituals. The festivities are still celebrated here, but the community’s understanding of the traditions and significance of this place has changed over time. Legend has it that many scientists and namesakes lived in the vicinity of Zilaiskalns, one of the most recognizable – Marta of Zilaiskalns.
So, why the name – Zilaiskalns? The name itself indicates that the word Zilaiskalns is related to the root of the noun sil or zil, which is related to the word fortune or sila – force (in Russian). It is believed that the adjective zils (blue), which describes the veil of blue mist around the hill created by the surrounding bogs, has had less of an effect on the name of the hill. However, it is natural that the blue color also dominates here in the spring, when the hill trails are decorated with a carpet of blue water lilies.
Climbing the 127 m high hill, at the top of it you will see the intersection of fire veins, surrounded by a circle of 14 energies and 1 ring of fire, but at the entrance you will notice the ancient Sacrificial Stone (Upurakmens). An unpolished bowl-shaped cavity is carved into the small (90 x 60 cm) Sacrificial Stone, which rises only 30 cm above the ground. According to legends, a pastor once pushed a stone down the hill.
There is also a viewing platform in the Imanta hill at the top of Zilaiskalns, from where you can turn to the landscape of the hillside.
At the foot of the hill is the Zilaiskalns cultural history and visitor center ZTornis, where you can get to know the history of the village, climb over the hill and look at the historical narrow-gauge railway locomotive with the help of virtual reality, buy souvenirs and get tourist information about travelling opportunities in Valmiera.
It is also possible to climb the hill along the 3 km long circular path Along the Footsteps of the Lynx (Lūsim pa pēdām). The path starts from the ZTornis.