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About Latvia » Jurmala


Some facts: Jurmala (pop. 55 600) is the largest resort city in the Baltic States is well-known for its natural treasures – the mild climate, sea, healthy air, curative mud and mineral water. It is a resort town stretching 32 km and sandwiched between the Gulf of Riga and the River Lielupe not far from Riga the capital of Latvia. Jūrmala is now a popular tourist attraction with long beaches facing the Gulf of Riga and romantic wooden houses in art nouveau style.
History: The area now comprising the city of Jūrmala has formerly been part of Riga, but some parts of the city like Sloka and Ķemeri have been known as health resorts for centuries. The city of Jūrmala actually consists of a string of small resorts. The spas offered facilities from mud baths to riding therapy and hiking in the woods. Wealthy landowners began the tradition of relaxing at the seaside in the last 1700s and early 1800s and Russian army officers came here to recuperate from their wounds of the Napoleanic War of 1812, returning later with their families. The main feature of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century is the wooden architecture. The wood, as an easily available raw material, is attractive and suitable for seasonal houses. Only the rich citizens could afford hiring educated architects to design their houses. Mosto f them were Baltic German and Latvian specialists but there are also works of Russian, Finnish and other architects. Since the first half of the 19th century, the popularity of the classical architecture remained steady. Thare are also buildings of historism, Art Noveau, national romantism, as well as functionalism. Characteristic feature of Jurmala’s architecture: it is rich in decorations of wooden carvings on the facades and roofs.
Town: Whereas Riga has advanced rapidly to embrace and cater for growing numbers of Western tourists, Jūrmala has lagged behind. Russians are now subject to strict visa requirements and its beaches have yet to attract significant numbers of Europeans leaving the tourist industry with a hard task on its hands. The list of architectural monuments includes 414 buildings, but more than 4000 buildings correspond to the status of the city’s historical buildings. Covered by white quartz sand the 32 km long beach of Jurmala is a great experience for the whole family and is free of charge. Each region’s beach has its own character. Sea resort is famous for its healthy climate, mineral waters, which are used not only for drinking, but also in spa-baths and pools.
Accommodation: Jurmala has approximately 60 different kinds of accommodation: campings, guest houses, hostels, hotels, motels, resort hotels and resort rehabilitation centres. Every year there are new hotels, which offer modern recreation services. It is very interesting to stay in the wooden historical guest houses, that has been renovated and let the guests feel the atmosphere of the last centuries. There are also several multistoried modern hotels that allow to enjoy the picturesque view of Jurmala from their skyline restaurants. Resort hotels offer different spa procedures, beauty care and health resort treatments that are vital at any time of the year! Renovated resort hotels and rehabilitation centres offer rehabilitation and the treatment of heart and blood system, neurology, digestive system, support and motion organs disorders, as well as relaxation, beauty care and SPA procedures. Programmes based on natural resorses – climate therapy, physiotherapy, balneotherapy, mud applications, sauna, walking and swimming indeed helps to recover from the everyday stress.