Gutmanis Cave

Gutman’s Cave (Latvian: GÅ«tmaņa ala) is the widest and highest cave in the Baltic countries, located on the Gauja River in the National Park of Sigulda, Latvia. It started forming more than 10 000 years ago when meltwater eroded the sandstone rock after the Ice Age. It is the oldest tourist attraction in Latvia. On the walls of the cave are inscriptions from the 17th century. The legend of theRose of Turaida began in this cave.

The cave is considered the oldest tourist attraction in Latvia because visitors, from even the earliest days, have left “decorations” such as names, initials and the dates of their visits engraved on the walls of the cave. Inside the cave are coats-of-arms and the names of various barons and estate owners. These were made to order for a fee by local craftsmen who would wait for wealthy visitors near the cave armed with tools, stepladders and templates. Writing on the cave walls is no longer permitted as the site is a protected archeological and geological monument.