History

Valgums has a very distinct aura and people have noticed it in all times.

The spot by the river Slocene embouchure in lake Valgums has been a popular settlement building place for centuries. In 1422. there was a village Valgums by the lake.

In 1484. the existing overlord of Tukums Verners fon Butlars himself moved to the village Valgums.

There is evidence that the first manor  Dagerhof – was built by the master of Livonian order Wolter von Plettenberg.

In 1554. the manor is called Dagerhoveda and it is somewhat like a landmark on the Big war road of the German Cross or Riga-Prussia trade route. It lead from Riga through Tukums, Kuldiga, Liepaja and Klaipeda to Konigsberg and Danzig.

The banks of Valgums was a popular residing place for duke Jēkabs. He was very fond of hunting in the woods around here. In the times of duke Jēkabs the lake Valgums was one of six free lakes of the duchy.

Since 1795. it has been a crown estate. The owners of manor changed rapidly and it has been mortgaged many times, until due to the bad state it was demolished.

The manor of the new forester was built next to an ex-kiln place and called “Āmarnieki” which later belonged to Lerche family (photo in the gallery). A boarding house was built there, where in the 1830s its owners Jenny (maiden name – Lerche) and Gustav Erhardt were taking in guests and providing accommodation.

Gustavs’ son from the first marriage with Alice Neldner was Heinz Erhardt (1909-1979), he later became one of the most famous comics, poets and composers in Germany. After the Second World War he gave laughter to the Germans – this is the most laconic and vivid characterization of Heinz. Many think that Heinz Erhardt is the best German comic of all time and his name is among the 100 most popular Germans.

In his autobiography Heinz writes that he spent the most beautiful and happiest Summers in Āmarnieki. In a photo taken in 1935 he is seen in a blooming meadow in Valgums with his loving wife Gilda Zanetti, daughter of the Italian consul in Saint Petersburg.

His daughter recalls that her parents mentioned the times of Āmarnieki very fondly in their conversations.

After the owners’ departure to Germany in 1939. the bank received the Āramnieki property. During the Second World War there was a support staff for German army in the castle (as the “Āramnieki” manor was called in those days). When the War ended and the army retreated the castle was burned down. Up until today trenches are visible and the high trees are filled with projectile splinters.

As the visitors of Valgums have told, the first tourist reunion of Latvian University after the War took place here. On the hill, in the place where the hotel now stands, once stood tents of students.

A renowned opera singer Jānis Zābers was very fond of fishing in the lake Valgums.

In the place of the demolished Āmarnieku castle in 1968 a boarding house was built for use of the USSR government. Among locals it was known as A. Kosigins residence. The territory that had direct communication with the Kremlin was surrounded by a 2m high fence and it was guarded by military 24/7. Only the chosen ones could get in here – the government members of the USSR and their relatives. Valgums was a branch of the hospital of Jurmala “Rīgas līcis”.

A. Kosigins himself rarely visited the nursery home, mostly with his family and close friends. More often the place was visited by the daughter of L. Breznevs – Galina. Rumor has it that she rather often visited her neighboring houses, whose owner was a great beer manufacturer.

The famous Latvian ballet dancer liked to relax in Valgums to get away from the uproar of Moscow.

After the Revival in 1997 the nursing home was purchased by “Lauku avīze” (country newspaper), that made great effort to restore and clean up the post-soviet time squandered property.

Since 2005. this place has been “Valguma pasaule” as it is now, where we provide a wide range of accommodation, food and active recreation opportunities.

But why is this place called Valgums (moisture)? A legend tells:

“Once upon a time lakes were floating up in the sky. Should someone guess their name they would fall. It was a torrid day and the lake was floating up in the sky like a cloud. A maiden was gathering hay and called out: “Oh I wish for some moisture!” And suddenly the cloud dropped from the sky in the place where now lays the lake of Valgums.”

Another legend says that the coach of Bishop Alberts lies in the depths of lake Valgums. By the lake the entourage was assaulted by villains who stole everything and captured the people. Only the Bishop himself escaped. The golden coach was pulled into the lake by the freaked out horses.

Scuba divers found a German tank and an automobile Volga in the depths of the lake, but there has not yet been any trace of the golden coach…

Photo gallery: Āmarnieki

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