In January, the Turaida Museum Reserve starts campaign „Learn about history and events of the Turaida castle in the course of 800 years through the stories told by castle objects!” The purpose of the campaign is to invite visitors of the museum to pay attention to antiquities, found in the castle, and by their assistance to discover exciting historical stories. During the year, each second week an original object in the castle exhibitions will be highlighted. As a reward for finding this object and learning about it, the visitors will get a special label of the campaign. The stories of the objects will be published also at www.turaida-muzejs.lv and www.facebook.com/turaida.muzejs
Follow these stories and become acquainted with the Turaida stone castle and its heritage anew!
A Postcard – Joyous Līgo (Summer Solstice) Celebration!
The postcard depicts a couple, dressed in national costumes in the Turaida castle yard with ruins of the Main Tower in the background. Coloured drawing, 1928. On its back side – an instcription „Turaida” and folk-song (a song about the beauty of nature and time for marriage.)
The author of the drawing is an engraver and artist Stefans Bercs (1893-1961). He has drawn various postcard plots dedicated to the anniversaries of the Republic of Latvia, summer solstice celebration, ancient valley of the River Gauja, different cities, castle ruins and national costumes. As an engraver he has made awards of the Republic of Latvia – the Viesturs Order, 1st and 2nd grade (esablished in 1938), memoral medal dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Latvian War of Liberation (1928), medal of the Latvian Agricultural Chamber – „For work and diligence” and others.
One of the collections of the Turaida Museum Reserve holds postcards. It encompasses 2051 collection units, dating back from the 20th century till nowadays. An essential part of the collection composes postcards with a view to the natural or ancient monuments located in the Turaida, Sigulda and Krimulda surroundings.
When, in 1889, the railway track between Riga and Valka with a stop at Sigulda was launched, the holyday-makers, mostly inhabitants of Riga, increasingly visited these sightseeing spots. The tourists wanted some keepsake from the trip and this desire became fulfilled through the new invention of the 19th century – a photography. It is hard to imagine a better souvenir as a photography of the visited spot, boarding-house or hotel!
In the Russian Empire, the first postcards with important building or natural objects, initially appeared in Riga in 1894. The most ancient known postcards with Sigulda and its surroundings are from 1898. It should be added, that for these postcards were used also negativs which are few years older. The visitors purchased such view postcards and sent them to relatives, friends or acquaintances.
Making and selling of postcards provided a greater opportunity for postcard publishers, who started to produce them in multiple copies, especially in the beginning of the 20th century, to make profit.