Museum Reserve

Legend about Rose of Turaida

Memorial Tomb to the Rose of Turaida

Trees on the Church hill encircle the ancient burial site, where were buried local inhabitants. In the course of time all graves disappeared, except memorial tomb to Maija Greif, a maiden from Turaida, arranged under centenarian linden tree. Her life history turned  into a legendary story about the Rose of Turaida. This legend is based on the documents, published by Magnus von Wolffeldt, in 1848, about the murder of Maija Greif at Gūtmanis Cave on August 6, 1620.

The Legend about Maija – the Rose of Turaida In 1601 Swedish troops captured Turaida castle. After the battle a clerk of the castle Mr Greif found among the dead a small girl. He undertook to bring up the orphan and named her Maija. The years passed by and Maija grew up so beautiful, that people named her the Rose of Turaida.  Gardener Victor Heil, the finacé of Maija, lived in Sigulda castle. In the evenings they met each other at Gūtmanis cave. Proposal to Maija was made also by Adam Jakubovsky, who then was in service in Turaida castle. Maija rejected him and Jakubovsky decided to get her by deceit. He wrote a note, as it were from Victor, and invited her to meet at Gūtmanis cave. When Maija arrived, she understood that she was deceived. The girl decided better to die and remain faithful to her fiancé. She had a red silk scarf around her neck and she told Jakubovsky, that it would protect from the sword cut and asked to try. Jakubovsky tried and  Maija lifeless fell down at his feet. Victor Heil found the murdered girl and he rushed in despair to Turaida for help. At the cave there was found gardener’s axe, lost in a hurry, therefore suspicion about Maija`s murder fell on Victor. He was arrested and tried. The course of events changed, when arrived Skudritz, a comrade-in-arms of Jakubovsky, who arrived in the court and told the truth. Victor was justified, but Maija was buried at the edge of Turaida graveyard, where Victor planted a linden tree on her  grave.

Turaida Museum Reserve