Welcome to Pāvilosta region!
How different are flowers in a meadow and raindrops in a window, so different are regions in Latvia. On the west coast of Baltic sea, as a amber blob shimmer Pāvilosta region. With the salty sea water smell and freshly smoked flounder, in the colour of rural oven baked rye bred. With fine seashore sand and old fisherman’s house.
Pāvilosta region is worth getting to know to love it’s peace and quit.To enjoy the lustig Fisherman’s festival, to get to know the traditions and habits. Meet native fishermen, whose life is dependant of the sea, to feel the power and tenacity of the region. Get to know native farmers who heartily cares for their fields, to see the greatness of region. And finaly, meet the enterpreneuers, hotel-keepers, traders and craftsmans to see interesting things of region and differences from other regions in Latvia.
Work, joy, force and spite of native people in Pavilosta region, strunged as amber beads, make this district of Kurzeme, a place where allways desire to return.
Chairman of Pāvilosta Region Municipality
Territorial area of Pāvilosta region 515km2
Saka parish 318km2
Vērgale parish 190.65km2
Population of Pāvilosta region as residence is declared 3002 people (27.06.2014.):
The town of Pāvilosta - 1051
Saka parish - 561
Vērgale parish - 1390
The distance from the center of Pāvilosta region to:
Riga - 216km
Liepāja - 53,6km
Ventspils - 68,8km
Kuldīga - 61,2km
- The distance from Vērgale parish board to Pāvilosta Regional Council is 27.7km
- Pāvilosta region borders Grobiņa, Durbe, Aizpute, Alsunga and Ventspils regions.
- It has a 46km long maritime border.
Have you ever gone along the street and suddenly realized that you have come to the sea-coast? If not, go to Pāvilosta or Āķagals as it was called earlier. They say that there are the most sunny days in the year. Through Pāvilosta the river Saka flows which is one of the shortest (only 6km) and deepest rivers in Latvia (in some places the depth reaches even 11m).
History of Pāvilosta
In 1879, the German baron Otto Friedrich von Lilienfeld founded a harbour and town here which was called in the name of his brother – Governor of Kurzeme Paul von Lilienfeld – Pāvilosta (Paulshafen). Pāvilosta was used to call Āķagals. In 1878, construction of bulwarks was started which cost 8 thousand golden rubles to Baron Lilienfeld. More rapid development of Pāvilosta began along with the construction of Liepaja Karosta which was started in 1893 and the stones of Pāvilosta and Saka were used in this construction work. At the turn of 19th and 20th centuries, construction of sailing ships started. 15 sailing ships were built in Pāvilosta and their farthest cargo shipment has reached the coasts of France and Spain. The fleet of sailing vessels and motor boats of Pāvilosta was badly destroyed by the fire of the First World War. Around 1935, fishermen joined together as a cooperative and having lived through the storms of the Second World War established a fishermen artel “Dzintarjūra” in 1947. Pāvilosta prospered and developed as a significant fishing harbour. A lot of population of Jūrkalne moved to Pāvilosta and found a job here. The “silver” taken from the sea turned into rubles. Houses were built, the streets were laid with asphalt and lighted, a new school and recreation centre were built and a fishing fleet was expanded to 17 vessels for the earned money. In 1974, the fishermen collective farm “Dzintarjūra” became a division of Liepāja fishermen collective farm “Boļševiks” according to the state policy. The changes brought by the awakening period have also affected Pāvilosta – the former fishermen collective farm was led to bankruptcy as a result of mismanagement, however, fishermen found their place – they started coastal fishing which was forbidden during Soviet times and renewed the motorboat fleet by purchasing them from the Gotland fishermen. But since 2000, SIA ”N-Stars” has been managing the former fishermen collective farm.
At the end of 2004, Saka region was established as a result of the merger of Saka parish and the town of Pāvilosta, but since July 1, 2009, Pāvilosta region was made as a result of the merger of Saka region and Vērgale parish. We will further make common history of Pāvilosta region!
History of SAKA parish
The name of Saka has been first recorded in 1230. From the second half of the 13th century until the Livonian War Saka is the estate of bishops who have let it out for several times. From the 15th to 18th century Ostenzakeni family have lived in Saka. At the place of confluence of two small rivers - Durbe and Tebra, where the river Saka starts its flow to the sea there is the historical centre of Saka (Saccze) rich in tales and stories with Couronian and Knights’ Castle Mounds, as well as with Saka Leja Evangelic Lutheran Church. During governance of Duke Jacob (1642–1682), a port has been in Saka which was used by traders from Aizpute in their interests. Within a year from 50 to 150 merchant ships entered the port, mainly from Hollland. The active port life was stopped by the Polish – Swedish War. One of the port storehouses has remained until now. Upesmuiža parish was established around 1890 by uniting the small Saka parishes the administrative territory of which has been changed for several times. During the First World War, Akmensrags lighthouse and Ulmale estate were destroyed in the firing of war ships. In the 30-ties of the 20th century, Latgalian families arrived to Saka Grīņi which made about 60 households there. Tragical events took place in Grīņi during the Second World War when the German authority cruelly revenged to the supporters of the Red Partisans. During Soviet times, several collective farms were established within the territory of Saka. Later all of them were joined to the collective farm “Centība”. Saka region is also crossed by the Riva river the wild and virgin banks of which allure nature lovers and fishermen. 70% of the territory of the region is woodland.
History of VĒRGALE parish
Vērgale is located 30km to the north from Liepāja. It spreads mainly in the plain coastal lowland, its eastern part juts into the heights of western Kurzeme. About a half of the territory is covered by woods rich in plants and wild animals. On the coast of the sea there is Ziemupe Botanical Nature Reserve with a lot of protected plant species. There are a lot of great trees and Ziemupe juniper forest in the parish. Vērgale parish borders with the Baltic Sea, as well as Medze, Dunalka and Saka parishes. Vērgale with the name “Virgenare” has been mentioned for the first time in 1253 in Kurzeme partition agreement between Kurzeme bishop and the German Order. The information exists that the territory of Vērgale has been let out to Villekin and it has later been owned by Bertold Stein according to Kuldīga comturia and then by Gothard Ketler , Gerhard von Nolde who was a son of G. fon. Nolde, in 1612 Vērgale was sold to Heinrich von Sacken who sold the estate to Georg von Behr after the death of Landrate Friedrich von Sacken in 1722. In 1920 he lost the estate and it was taken in possession by the state. Vērgale parish was established in 1877. Just before the First World War it was joined to Medze parish and became independent during existence of the first Republic of Latvia. During Soviet times Ziemupe parish was joined to Vērgale parish, as well as a part of Tāši and Medze. In 1947, the first collective farm “Zelta Druva” was established in Vērgale, Liepāja district. In the same way, collective farms “Uzvara” and “Jaunais ceļš” were founded in 1948. In the 50-ties they were united and the collective farm “Ļeņina ceļš” was established which became a strong farm. In the same year the collective farm “Kaija” was founded in Ziemupe, as well as the collective farm “Kopdarbs” in Saraiķi. Later both of them joined together in the collective farm “Kopdarbs”.
There are 4 libraries, Vērgale Recreation Centre, Ziemupe Village Hall in the parish. The dance group “Vērgalīte” is the most active because it has participated in all Latvian General Song and Dance Festivals, the senior group “Vakarvējš” is also well-known, as well as sportsmen of Vērgale parish.
In 1995, Vērgale obtained the name of the tidiest parish in Kurzeme. Famous archaeological sites - Elka Hill – Castle Mound, Ošenieki ancient burial site at the former Ošenieki half of manor dates back to the 5th century B.C., BruņeniekI ancient burial site (Zviedru Cemetery), Mazkalni medieval cemetery at the house Mazkalni. Architectural monuments of local importance – Ziemupe church, Saraiķi church, Vērgale church, Mazkaži living house, servant house Dangaskalni, Vērgale estate complex. The school in Vērgale was founded around 1780-1790, when the innkeeper Raudīte who was also a church organist taught the young people to be confirmed. The first school building was built in 1828. The school existed in the building until October 26, 1922, afterwards it moved to Vērgale Manor House.
Tourism is considerably developed in Vērgale. There is a Santa Claus office in Ziemupe. The museum founder Alfrēds Šnipke (1932 – 2005) has made a great contribution to the history of Vērgale, as well as written the books “Vērgale Through Times” and “ Vērgale Through Times 2”.
In 2009, Pāvilosta region was established by joining together Vērgale parish with Saka region.