Madona and Madona district – a place where you are
City of Madona covers approximately 10.41 km2 and about 8110
people live there (as of 01.01.2015); approximately 80% of them are Latvians,
but the rest are foreigners.
Madona is the administrative center of Madona district. The district was
founded in 2009 and it incorporates the City of Madona and 14 municipalities.
This is the third largest district in Latvia and the largest in Vidzeme region.
The district covers approximately 2153.4 km2 and about 25,920 people
live there (as of 01.01.2015).
The distance between Riga and Madona is 166 km.
The Madona Manor (from the German word Madohn or Modohn) or
Biržu Manor most likely was established in the 17th century. The narrow-gauge
railway line constructed at the turn of 19th and 20the century connecting
Stukmaņi (Pļaviņas) and Valka affected the further development of the city and had
a positive impact on the local population. A regular traffic was implemented in
1903, placing one of the stations also in Madona. Therefore, Madona became a
In the spring of 1921, Madona had more than one thousand inhabitants and
received rights to become an individual village. In 1923, the first architectural
plan was developed for Madona; furthermore, names were allocated to the central
streets. But on June 7, 1926 Madona became a city, thus proving that it is one
of the latest cities in Latvia.
Tourism in Madona
In the eyes of visitors the city seems special due to its picturesque
landscape. Interestingly enough, Madona is one of the highest places in Latvia
– it is located 122-193 meters above sea level.
Madona is also one of the most
popular winter recreational regions in Latvia, thus we have a saying that
Madona is the winter capital of Latvia. That is based on both hilly terrain and
natural steadiness of snow. During winters snow in Madona is deeper and remains
one month longer than elsewhere in Latvia.
The city is characterized by a pronounced peace in contrast to the
bustle of big cities; it is blessed with green parks, colorful greenery and
refreshing fountains. A stroll through the city from the Gathering Square (Saieta laukums) to the Madona Regional
Studies and Art Museum will be a true enjoyment for everyone regardless of the
season; although, you may also choose to take a stroll through our parks or
wide and clean streets. We highly recommend everyone to watch advertisements by
local companies and learn something from the information posted on the environment
screen, to pass through the Love Ravine, to rest next to one of the highest
fountains in Latvia and to appreciate magnitude of the most ancient stone
buildings. As a contrast, you can also experience modern and renovated
buildings – House of Culture, Musical School and educational institutions. As a
peculiar trend or feature of the city’s architecture, several buildings have
upper story extensions built on the extant foundations, thus combining certain lightness
in appearance and modernism with practicability and functionality of use. Don’t
miss the Madona Regional Studies and Art Museum! Step inside to take look at
the 4 to 5 different exhibitions displayed at the same time. That will also give
you a chance to buy something nice at the Tourist Information Center
established within the museum to remember your trip to Madona or to acquire a
new guide for your future trips to other Latvian cities.
When travelling with a car, we recommend visiting several of
our most significant active recreation sites, for example, City of Madona
Sports Center, a multifunctional building used for various sporting and cultural
events, and Kart Circuit suitable for practicing, competitions and recreation
as it allows one to pay for a kart and experience the true flow of adrenalin.
It is worth visiting Sports and Recreational Base “Smeceres sils” with
well-established ski runs developed in line with the requirements mandatory for
international competitions. Furthermore, the base offers other sporting and
entertainment options both in winter and summer. The accommodation and premises
for events are also available at the base.
Madona covers a small enough area for everyone to be capable to
go or run around it. A magnificent and well-light ring road beloved by
pedestrians, cyclists, Nordic walkers and runners goes all around Madona. Since
the city has a hilly landscape, if you choose to take the ring road and travel
around it, you will enjoy an attractive panorama over the city when reach the
Tourism in Madona district
Madona district composed of two different areas (Central Vidzeme Upland
and Lubāns Plain) has several impressive natural sites of Latvian significance.
In Madona district, there is Gaiziņkalns, the highest mountain in Latvia (312
meters above sea level), which has an active alpine and cross-country skiing
offer during winters and well-maintained trails for strolls in summers.
In Madona district, there is also a part of Lake Lubāns, the largest
lake in Latvia (14 km long and 9 km wide) which also serves as one of the most
popular bird-watching spots in Latvia; during migration periods there are about
20,000 waterfowls in the area. In addition to the Tourist Information Center in
Madona, there is also the Information Center of Lubāns Wetland established next
to the Lake Lubāns. The Information Center has wide recreation and
entertainment offer, including on-site events, picnics with fresh fishes from
Lake Lubāns, and tourist advice on other activities in Madona district.
The district also has two protected nature reserves (Krustkalnu un
Teiču) and a dendrological garden, Kalsnava Arboretum, located within the area
of the Latvian State Forests and especially beloved by tourists; every year it
gathers hundreds of people during the Peony Festival (in the middle of June).
Culinary tourism is becoming more and more popular. There are several
great farms in Madona district capable of truly treating you with tasty dishes
and memorable moments, as they welcome tourist groups and hold unique tasting
events. The menu includes products most specific to Madona district: homemade
bread, berries, products derived therefrom, medical herbal teas, processed
dairy products, homemade wines, goat cheese, picnics with fresh fishes from
Lake Lubāns, as well as other country-side goods.
In Madona district, there are several hospitable lakeside accommodations
and resting places ready to welcome you for a good night’s sleep, as well as
saunas with special sauna-related traditions. The district offers everyone to
visit farms with different farm animals, to attend wide variety of creative
workshops, to try your skills at the meadows golf or to simulate several
hunting situations at a shooting range.
Madona district is rich with memorial places – museums of several
important persons (A. Burovs, A. Čaks, O. Kalpaks, A. Bieziņš, Doku Atis, A. Eglītis).
It is impossible to speak about tourism in Madona district without
mentioning culture and art events as they gather hundreds and thousands of people
every year: Museum Nights (in the middle of May), Madona City Festival (at the
beginning of June); Festival of Fire Sculptures (before Midsummer Festival), Festival
of Popular Music “Golden Hit” (at the end of July), Festival of Latvian Music
(at the end of July), Festival “Sounds of the Lake” (in the middle of August),
event for singing and musical families “Swarm” (November), etc.
Our annual and highly popular entertainment and sporting events also play
an important community role: “Auto traks”, a motorized driving up the Gaiziņš
(at the beginning of February); Big Carnival of Gaiziņš (at the beginning of March);
Madona District Cycling Day (at the end of May); Aviation Festival (at the
beginning of July); world championship stages and Latvian cups in motoracing, kart racing etc. competitions. Since we
are one of the central Latvian regions for winter sports, every year the Sports
and Recreational Base “Smeceres sils” holds Scandinavian cup in
cross-country skiing and world cup stage in ski-orienteering.
Please find more detailed information on the aforementioned and several
other recreational options at our webpage under the following sections: Sights,
Accommodation, Public Catering, Skiing, Active Tourism and Routes.VIDEOS:"Madona region - recreation in nature""Madona region - for families with children"
"Madona region - recreational activities"
"Madona region - crafts and arts"
"Madona region - offer for gourmets"
"Summer in Madona"
"Relax in Madona region"
"Madona region - recreation in winter"
Have a thrilling holiday, new revelations, memorable adventures and
beautiful memories about your experiences and everything that was witnessed and
enjoyed in Madona district!
We work for you to feel welcome here!
Madona district municipality
Tourist Information Center