|o Total||4.8 km2 (1.9 sq mi)|
|o Rural territory||42 km2 (16 sq mi)|
|Elevation||12 m (39 ft)|
|o Density||696/km2 (1,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|Calling code||+371 67|
Saulkrasti (pronunciation (help·info); German: Neubad) (in translation from Latvian - Sun shores) is a town in Latvia, which lies on the east coast of Gulf of Riga. It stretches across 17 km from Lilaste river to Zvejniekciems village including. The town itself spans across 48 square kilometres (19 sq mi), and includes 42 square kilometres (16 sq mi) of field and forest territory.
The towns motto - "The town closer to the Sun. Town which carries the name of the Sun". The coat of arms of Saulkrasti represents the four rivers (white stripes) In?upe, P?terupe, upe, A?e, and five villages (green stripes) - B?dciems, Katr?nb?de (Paba?i), P?terupe, Neib?de, Zvejniekciems. The top parts represent the sea and the sun.
Saulkrasti carries its present name since 1933, when the villages of east coast of Gulf of Riga were merged into one common municipal structure, and since 1991 it is a town.
Saulkrasti is the home to the annual Saulkrasti Jazz Festival.
Saulkrasti is located in Saulkrasti municipality, on the south-east side of Gulf of Riga, 40 kilometres (25 mi) north-east of Riga.[r 1][r 2] It lies along a 17 kilometres (11 mi) long and 2-5 kilometres (1.2-3.1 mi) wide coastal forest zone from the south of Lilaste River and lake to Zvejniekciems including.[r 1][r 2] The territory is made up of four distinct populated places -- Paba?i (In?upe River), P?terupe (city centre, P?terupe river), Neib?de (upe River), and Zvejniekciems (A?e River).[r 2] The territory is adjacent to Carnikava, ?da?i, S?ja, and Limba?i municipalities and the closest populated places to Saulkrasti are Carnikava, ?da?i, Sigulda, and Limba?i.[r 1] The direct town's borders mostly include a stretch between the railway and the sea from In?upe to upe rivers.[r 1][r 2]
The territory is 4,774.2 hectares (18.433 sq mi), from which 604.4 hectares (2.334 sq mi) are town's territory and 4,169.8 hectares (16.100 sq mi) rural territory.[r 1][r 2][r 3] As of 2008 2,824.5 hectares (10.905 sq mi) are occupied by forest and 246.2 hectares (0.951 sq mi) are used for agriculture. There are 5,830 separate owned land territories with 1,583 real estates.[r 3]
The earliest data about the territory are stone axes found around In?upe and P?terupe,[r 4] which show that the territory was populated from at least the newer ice age.[r 1] The first written mention of populated places in the Saulkrasti territory are documented in the Livonian Chronicle of Henry.[r 1][r 4] The territory overlapped with Livonian Metsopole and Kubesele populated place, and some today's names are inherited from the Livonian language, for example, L?laste, Age, Paba?i.[r 4][r 1]Metsepole significant centres included Skulte, Liepupe, and Limba?i villages. A significant road crossed the territory towards Soontagana territory in Estonia. After the 13th century Baltic Crusades, Saulkrasti lands became part of newly formed Krimulda parish.[r 4]
Before the formation of Saulkrasti, the territory was a part of B?ri?i parish.[r 5][r 6] The current Saulkrasti territory gradually formed by merger of several populated places on In?upe, P?terupe, and upe river banks. In 1823 the Neib?de territory formed next to upe River and was mostly Vidzeme's noblemen recreation and swimming spot that became quite popular after World War I. In 1898 Katr?nb?de swimming spot formed as Paba?i Manor estate was divided into summerhouse territories. In 1920 construction plans were conceived for Neib?de and P?terupe towns.
After World War I and coastland town reforms[r 7] during the 1920-30s, unions, cooperatives, and various associations were established across Latvia.[r 8] After World War I the fishermen village P?terupe gathered the vicinage's economic life, including markets and association life.[r 8] In 1919 P?t?rupe Fishing Association (Latvian: P?terupes Zvejniec?bas biedr?ba) was established to represent interests of the fishermen, and purchase land and fishing tools. In 1923 the association moved into B?ri?i Manor Pub (Latvian: B?ri?u mui?as krogs), illegally sold by Neib?de resort manager Paul Moltrecht. The pub was renovated, renamed Enkurs (English: Anchor), and became the local fishermen social gathering place with regular shows, concerts, and lectures.[r 7] The association had plans to build a port on the mouth of P?terupe River, however construction never started.[r 7] The association was closed on May 1, 1938 by Fishermen's Central Union (Latvian: Zvejnieku Centr?lbiedr?ba), whereby many fishermen joined Skulte's Zvejniekciems cooperative.[r 7]
Neib?de at the time was a quiet summer[r 8] resort location preferred by Rigans for its quiet region between Paba?i and Skulte. The major local activity was at the local pub u krogs (English: Hook pub) that housed public services, such as, a shop, a conference room, hairdressers, and a library. During the 1920s the pub exerted particular cultural influence and was supported by the State Cultural Fund (Latvian: Valsts kult?ras fonds) on numerous occasions.[r 8] That year P?terupe Cooperative Consumer Association (Latvian: P?terupes kooperat?va pat?r?t?ju biedr?ba) was founded to provide their members with discount groceries and manufacturing goods; the u Pub rented office space to the cooperation. The cooperative organized many cultural events, such as, a drama club, a choir, and lectures. In 1927 a separate location was allocated for construction of a new headquarters building, however it was never finished due to ineffective governing and the cooperative almost going bankrupt. The cooperative prominently sold merchandise on debt to workers, especially fisherman, and soon exhausted its resources and in 1932 held a public auction. After the May 15, 1934 coup d'état by Prime Minister K?rlis Ulmanis the cooperative was suspended, forbidden, and on April 9, 1935 -- disbanded.[r 8] That year Neib?de was renamed Saulkrasti.
After World War II Saulkrasti and In?upe workers village territory stretched 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) along a 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) wide maritime territory north of In?upe. Saulkrasti as a town was established in 1945. The town's executive committee led by M?rti?s Lasmanis settled in Baron Alexis von Pistohlkors'[r 9] previous cottage. During this time former guesthouses, restaurants, pubs, larger cottages, as well as a rectory were nationalized.[r 5][r 6] The territory remained quiet in the 1930-50s and was given worker town rights in 1950.
At the start of the 20th century there had been several ports in Courland, but none in Vidzeme.[r 10][r 11] Various ports were being built across Latvia[r 10] and In 1911 the Ministry of trade and industry (Latvian: Tirdzniec?bas un r?pniec?bas ministija) began researching Neib?de and P?terupe beaches for a suitable port location.[r 11] Neib?de at the time was a busy cultural and commercial location and Skule village was the largest fishing centre in Vidzeme with 100 fishermen and 40 motorboats, who in 1932 they joined Sea Fish (Latvian: J?ras zivs) cooperative.[r 11] The mouth of A?e, which had served as a port before and was then used for boat towing,[r 10] was selected as the most suitable and cheapest location for port construction.[r 11] After years of inactivity, On May 21, 1937 president K?rlis Ulaminis decided to build the port.[r 10][r 11] The construction started in autumn 1937 with building of south mole and afterwards north mole. On September 30, 1938 port coastline plans were conceived. Along the port construction, nearby fish smoke-house was built.[r 11] The port was opened on October 7, 1939.[r 10][r 11]
In 1950 the Saulkraste region was formed by joining 19 local counties and 42 kolkhozes under the Latvian SSR decree "On the formation of countrysides in Latvian SSR" (Latvian: Par lauku rajonu nodibinanu Latvijas PSR sast?v?).[r 6][r 5] Many of the kolkhozes were merged and renamed[r 6] after Party functionaries.[r 5]
Sulkrasti town became the centre of the region that coordinated a wide territory led by M. Slosmanis. Party and Komsomol Committees, and the Saulkrastu Stars (English: Saulkrasti Ray) newspaper editorial were formed in the Stirnu pub (English: Doe Pub), now the hospital building. Finance, culture, and education departments and municipal administration were located in the Saulkrasti Town Hall, together with the Saulkrastu Stars typography. The region's paperwork was now handled locally instead of through Riga.[r 5][r 6] Saulkrasti village was the center of Saulkrasti Region until January 1957.[r 6]
The only public transport to Riga was the often full intercity bus,[r 5] as railway lines had been detonated by Germans at the end of World War II.[r 12][r 13] On July 3, 1952 a railroad line to Saulkrasti was restored[r 12][r 13] and electrified in 1958.
During this time new establishments and workforce increased demand for shops, catering, and other public services. Saulkraste region Consumer Society opened and began a trade organization within the region. In 1950 the town market was opened[r 5][r 6] at the planned location of P?terupe Cooperative Consumer Association's headquarters.[r 8] However, public services developed slowly and had poor customer service.[r 5] Later in 1952 there were several canteens, teahouses, two shops[r 13] and a meat product shop.[r 12] In 1952 a regional hospital was opened.[r 12][r 13]
On July 16, 1950 Saulkraste Region held its first Song Festival. Saulkrastes Stars reports it as a colourful and solemn with many participants.[r 5][r 6] On July 8, 1951 the state's first Fisherman Day (Latvian: Zvejnieku sv?tki) was held with thousands of participants.[r 5] In autumn 1950 a high school[r 14] and night school opened,[r 6] and next year a renovated kindergarten.[r 5] In 1953 a new high school project was approved and construction began autumn 1954 until the school opened September 1, 1956. The construction was one of the biggest region's buildings costing 2 million rubles.[r 15][r 14]
The culture saw a decrease in 1952, choir and dance collectives disbanded and Culture House management was being constantly changed. Zvejnieks also saw cultural decline with finances missing for musical equipment. The wall newspaper Zvejnieks now had irregular publishings.[r 12][r 13] However, soon a traveling cinema[r 13] and library opened at the end of 1952 and 1953 respectively.[r 12] Several dance and singing collectives were organized in Zvejnieks in 1954. On July 18 Saulkrasti Song Day (Latvian: Saulkrastu Dziesmu diena) was organized with visitors from many regions. On July 5, 1955 Saulkrasti Song Festival (Latvian: Saulkrastu Dziesmu sv?tki) was held with 600 singers and dancers and over 7,000 spectators. At the end of July 1956, the first Latvia SSR's young tourist rally takes place with participants and visitors from many USSR republics.[r 15][r 14]
The region, village, and local newspaper carried "Saulkraste" name for almost two years from 1950 to middle of 1952 until Saulkrasti name was restored in 1952.[r 6][r 5] In 1957 a new territorial reform in Latvia disbanded the Saulkrasti region.[r 15][r 14]
Vidzemes beaches had long been housing fishing industry. In 1945-1946 fishermen started joining into unions and in 1946-1948 into artels. There were 16 artels in Latvia, and 5 in Vidzeme -- the largest being 9. maijs (English: May 9), Zvejnieks (English: Fisherman), and Br?vais vilnis (English: The free wave). Fishing kolkhozes received funds for tool production and installation.[r 5][r 6] Press reported artel Zvejnieks having twice exceeded their initial plan[r 5] by skillful use of new equipment and increase of their fishing fleet.[r 6] The first year following region's establishment, fishermen already towed a successful catch.[r 6]
A lot of Saulkraste attention was directed at kolkhoz construction -- allocating long-term loans, supplying building materials, and educating construction specialists. In 1950 region's kolkhoz construction was funded by 328,000 rubles.[r 5][r 6] Kolkhozes competed socially in timber processing, land cultivation, grain sowing and harvesting, milking, and fish hauling.[r 5]
The 39 kilometres (24 mi) long A?e river creek houses the Skulte fishing port (Latvian: Skultes zvejas osta), where artel's ships and motorboats anchored. Next to the port was located Vidzeme's second largest Skulte fish canning factory (Latvian: Skultes zivju konservu fabrika) office. Fish salting workshop, freezer, fish smokery and cannery were one of the most modern in Vidzeme. The factory served all local fisherman.[r 14] Big catches prompted expansion and construction of new of Skultes fish processing workshops (Skultes zivju apstr?danas cehi),[r 12] and factory expanded yearly. New equipment, semi-automated lines, and freezers were being built;[r 12] work organization was being revamped.[r 13] If the factory only made fish products before 1956, canned fish now became its primary produce. Production was exported to many countries, such as, Great Britain, France, Australia, Mexico, etc.
During this time fishermen life significantly improved,[r 5][r 6] new electrified houses were built[r 14] in 1955-56 on the banks of A?e.[r 15] One of that time's state's biggest and modern Culture Houses (Latvian: Kult?ras nams) opened on November 8, 1956 in Zvejniekciems on A?e's left side[r 15] and cost 2.5 million rubles.[r 14] Soon Culture House opens a drama club[r 12][r 13] and library.[r 14]
As of beginning of 2008, there are 6,089 Saulkrasti residents, 2,771 of which live in rural areas. 57% (3,487) residents are of working age and 26% (1,611) beyond working age. 82% of the population are Latvians and 11% are Russians, the remaining Belorussian, Polish, Lithuanian and Estonian nationalities make up 7% of the population.[r 3]
Saulkrasti attracts local and foreign tourists during the summer period.
The port is currently being funded from European Fisheries and European Regional Development Funds for over 5 million lats for construction of two new piers and a warehouse complex. With the completion of these constructions, the port will have completed reconstruction started in 1997. Currently one of the pier has been completed and work is under way to finish the warehouses by 2010/11.[r 17]
Vidzeme Music and Art school (Latvian: Vidzemes j?rmalas M?zikas un m?kslas skola) was established in 1968 as Zvejniekciems Children Art school (Latvian: Zvejniekciema B?rnu m?zikas skola). The school started its Art department in 1995 and was renamed to its current name in 1997. The school had 288 student in 2008. Students participated in several competitions and some of their work has been shown in international exhibitions.[r 3]
Saulkrasti is twinned with: