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Ungurmuiža

Location: N57° 21` 44.9", E25° 5` 18.92" | Website: ungurmuiza.lv/

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Ungurmuiža manor is a harmonic wooden building ensemble of the 18th century, which is located in Cesis district, Raiskuma region. Surrounded by giant oaks, this manor takes an important place in Latvian cultural monument heritage. It has gone through storms of war and other misfortunes. Its name has come from the surname of its owners – barons Ungern, who were living there from the 16th century, up to the middle of the 17th century. Initially this place was called Orellen – it was the name Germans gave it. 

Ungurmuiža manor is now neglected, but taking into consideration all the circumstances, it is amazingly well preserved monument. Ungurmuiža manor complex is a European-wide art and architecture monument. It is the oldest manor dwelling house in Latvia, built from wood. 

It was built by baron von Campenhausen as his family house in 1732, and in 1751 an attic was built where wall and ceiling paintings were kept – Russian army grenadiers from the 18th century, dressed in their uniforms. The building designer was definitely a professional architect. The next owner was a Finnish Governor General, who bought Ungurmuiža in 1742. In 1755 manor was inherited by his son Balthasar von Campenhausen, who was a member of Russian senate since 1797. The manor was owned by this family also during further years. 

Consequences of the Northern war significantly affected the development of the manor up until the middle of 18th century. Economic difficulties directly reflect in modest architecture of the manors. Houses of sirs looked like farmer houses with straw roof. The construction of stone buildings was limited by law, ordered by Peter I at the beginning of 18th century. The law lost its power during some time, and construction of new buildings was gradually increasing (on the second half of the 18th century). Buildings were constructed both by farmers and landlords, with help from local craftsman or foreign masters. 

This manor is the oldest manor house in Latvia which is built from wood. The attic was built on 1751, were wall and ceiling paintings were kept – Russian army grenadiers from the 18th century, dressed in their uniforms.  

Small pane windows, characteristic for baroque style and main entrance doors adorned by rococo forms – all of this can be seen in Ungurmuiža manor. Engravings can be seen on the outer decors of the house, but engravings on water gutters are made in form of crowned dragon heads. There used to be a bathroom in the basement. In the centre there was a hallway with stairs, a living room behind it, and further an exit to the garden. The entrance to the both ends of the building had more of an economical meaning. The premises were heated by a furnace, out of which two have been preserved – with black and salient pots. 

The new barn which is located on the Northeast side of the yard was built from 1738.-1740. 

A school for farmer children was funded in Ungurmuiža in 1734. There is an artificial park next to the manor house, which lengthens into a Forest Park. The biggest trees in Latvia are growing here. 

The main road of the park leads from the manor house to the tea house. It is covered by expressive dome-type roof, which overpasses into a spike. Motives of Chinese art are also used in the architecture. 

Repository of barons Campenhausen can be seen separately. From the grave mount to the west leads the Black road, which is planted with four lines of leaf trees. The road was used only in case of landlord funeral. 

After Campenhausen repatriation to Germany, the house was unoccupied, but in 1953 Kūduma school was opened in these premises. 

The list of today inventory allows looking into economic life of Ungurmuiža, and it is possible to learn from it that there used to be a sports brewery, bakery, washing house, dairy, barn, ice basement and other buildings on the manor. 

***Legends***

The baron has showed himself in Ungurmuiža graveyard for several times. People went to see it. The baron was sitting by the table in repository. Some monument stone fell down the hill in the very same graveyard. Even the blacksmith couldn’t help. Only when the stone was consecrated, it stopped from falling.