Where to look for and learn about the origins, history and evidence of the seafaring? Of course with us - in Salacgriva region.
A great place to start your search is Ainaži - a charming seaside town, which has been one of the most important cities for sailors, sailing ships and sea life. Salacgriva played no less important role - its formation goes hand in hand with the development of coastal shipping in the Gulf of Riga. And lighthouses - they saved in cases when the sea was sometimes harsh, when waves, rain and water splashes demolished the boat's chosen course.
You will find witnesses of this time at each point.
Water all around but you - still on land? This is what the Ainaži Northern pier is for – here you can enjoy the eternal cinema of nature – sunset – with shows every evening and every season.
In 1870, a breakwater was built out of boulders in the mouth of the Salaca River and the riverbed was deepened, which allowed larger ships to enter the port instead of the existing barges.
The compact and idyllic town Ainaži is the cradle of seafaring in Latvia. Today, in the very centre of it, proudly stands the witness of the ancient seafaring of Latvia - Museum of Ainaži Naval School. Here, in a classroom by the blackboard the guests of the museum are greeted by the head of the longstanding naval school, captain Kristiāns Dāls. He does not say much - as we know well, waxwork is not particularly talkative.
The lighthouse is located on the coast nearby the old pier. It was built in 1925. On the top of the metal carcass the lights shone once, but it is not working today.
The lighthouse was built in 1930. It is 22.8 m high and is located on a hill at the former narrow gauge railroad and until today it shows the way to the seafarers. It is located opposite the old road that once led to the Ainaži harbor – ar in the old days when our grand-grand-grand-fathers lived in Ainaži the narrow gauge railroad lead straight to the pier of the Ainaži port.
This lighthouse, which was built in 1926, once stood on the breakwater. The height of the lights was 8.1 m above the water level. In the December storm of 1986, when a part of the breakwater collapsed, this lighthouse fell into the sea...
The Ķurmrags lighthouse is located on the Ķurmrags foreland. It is the most pronounced foreland in the Vidzeme part of the Gulf of Rīga. It was built in 1924. In the storm of 1967 it was destroyed and its light was switched off. It was originally located on the highest part of the shore but during the storm of 2005 it was washed into the sea, where it still stands awry a few metres offshore. It is clearly visible from a distance.
The lighthouse of Salacgrīva is located on the right bank of the river Salaca - it is a quadrangular white tower with a red lantern and it was built in 1925. Today the lighthouse does not operate anymore - following this lighthose, all fishermen have already found their way home and the story has ended happily. The lighthouse was built, because due to the numerous sandbanks the coast between Salacgrīva and Ainaži was considered to be the most dangerous area for sailing in the whole Gulf of Riga.
Following a pragmatic approach - to protect the shores of Salaca river from erosion - the fathers of the county decided to build the promenade. As time passed, the locals brought rocks to the town and the promenade was made! Although such description seems to fit a situation a couple of hundreds of years back, this is not the case - the promenade was opened in May of 2014.