Great wave sea.

Section 14. Sīkrags - Saunags.

SEE Worth seeing

Mazirbe village

Among the earliest and largest fishermen settlements on the coast of Northern Kurzeme. First mentioned in written sources in 1387 under the name of „Willa minor Irwa”. The village is located not far from the mouth of the River Mazirbe. Livonians used to call the river Irē joug, and the village – Irē. Already since earlier times the village was split into two parts — Livonian fishermen village closer to the sea and the Southern part of the village with Irbe Church, manse, cemetery, tavern and some Dundaga manor houses further off the coastline.

During the first independence years of Latvia, Mazirbe represented a fast-growing village with 77 farmsteads and fishermen houses and 82 residential houses (in 1939). Besides church and manse, the village also had a post office, a school, several shops, a drug store, a hairdresser’s and a photo salon. Bricks were made in Brausku Brick-Kiln, timber came from the local saw-mill, and by narrow gauge train the village was linked to Ventspils, Dundaga and Stende. Mazirbe was a lively cultural and economic centre with its own fishermen society „Zivs”. In 1935, the population of Mazirbe reached 438 with only 66 Livonians (15%). Besides 350 Latvians (80%), other nations represented in the village were Estonians, Germans, Russians, Belorussians.

The village of Mazirbe played a crucial role in the Livonian Awakening movement. 

Nowadays, life is not as busy in the village as it used to be in the mid-20th century; yet the village is still alive: there are around 60 houses, most of which are inhabited only during summers, to tell the truth. Around 90 inhabitants have registered Mazirbe as their place of residence. During summer, the number of residents experiences rapid growth on the account of tourists and people coming to live here for the summer. Around ten fishermen still make a living from fishing. There is a shop and a few guest houses.

The fishing boat cemetery in Mazirbe village

In some coastal villages in Northern Kurzeme fishing was restricted, while in the village of Mazirbe this was allowed under strict supervision of border guards. The boats in the seaside forest in Mazirbe are a result of the change - the old vessels were replaced by newer ones, leaving the first back in the forest.

The Livonian National House

Built in 1939 “with the help of the fatherland Latvia and related nations - Finns, Estonians, Hungarians”. This is a national architectural monument. Annual Livonian Festival has been taking place on the first Saturday of August.  +371 28603233

A collection of household items in the "Stūrīši – Branki" household in Mazirbe village

Stories about the Livonians and the Taizeļi family. Lunch, snacks, tastings. Everything here is historical and authentic. +371 29469165

More than 20 types of ancient fences in "Pie Andra Pitragā"

The only of its kind in Latvia. The cultural sign of “Latvian Heritage” has been assigned to this place for the preservation and exaltation of the cultural environment of the Livonian Coast.

Pitrags village

Village border on the side of Košrags is maked by the small River Pitragupe, also called the River Kukšupe. First mentioned in written sources around 1582/1583, in the Book of Dues of Piltene. In 1826, the village had eleven farmsteads with a population of 190. Locals were most active to protest against the new rent agreements offered by the baron of Dundaga in 1859, the unrest is known under the name of Dundaga Farmer’s Turmoil. Locals were Baptists, who in 1902 erected a Baptists House of Prayer. Elder people still recall legends of announcing and waiting for the end of world to come. The House of Prayers was the only church on the Livonian coast, which continued to serve its original purpose also during the Soviet Period.

Pitrags is the home village of the excellent Livonian folklore teller Marija Šaltjāre [1860-1930], who was born and lived in the village. It is said that she told more than 200 tales and stories, more than 90 folklore songs, children’s games, and has contributed much information about celebrations, Livonian beliefs and everyday life.

According to the population count of 1935, there were 51 farmsteads and 219 inhabitants in Pitrags. Only 59 (27%) of them were Livonians. Like in other villages, the predominant occupation was coastal fishing. Several sprat processing workshops (kūre) were opened in the village. Also in Pitrags a breakwater was built (in 1938) for seaweed harvesting. There were two shops, and not far from the village, on the River Kukšupe, a watermill was built. Already as early as in the autumn of 1939, the USSR army military base was established in Pitrags.

Likewise in other Livonian coastal villages, also Pitrags becomes a busy place only in summers. During winter, only some ten houses are inhabited; however, there are more permanent residents in the village than elsewhere – around 30.

Košrags village

Considered to be the most recent of all Livonian coastal villages, established in the 17th century. In 1826, there were four farmsteads in the village: Anduļi, Žoki, Kinne, Tillemači with a total of 74 residents. These homes are still present and are found in the central part of the village. In mid-19th century, Žoki was the first reading school for Livonian children coming from various coastal villages from Dundaga region, while the largest number of Livonian folklore examples have been recorded in writing in Anduļi. In 1935, there were 19 farms in Košrags with 115 inhabitants, out of which 42 were Livonian. Farms bearing Livonian names are most found in the small village of Košrags: Valdamo — Baltzemes (translated from Latvian: White Lands), Alabi – Vītoli (Willows), Kūvali – Mēness gaisma (Moonlight), Eļmi – Dzintari (Ambers), Virgo – Atmodas (Awakenings), Norpiedagi – Jaunpriedes (New Pines). Nordpiedagi was home to the fisherman, Livonian civic figure, co-founder of the Livonian Association, well-known boat maker, Didriķis Volganskis (1884–1968). In 1938, a breakwater under the supervision of Volganskis was built for the purpose of seaweed harvesting. The Finnish resident Edgars Vaalgamaa (1912–2003), the son of D. Volganskis, was the only Livonian, who held a higher education diploma in theology. He has translated the Latvian epic poem “Lāčplēsis” into Finnish. 

Nowadays, Košrags is an urban construction monument of national significance, since the ancient fishermen village build-up traditions are still kept alive and present. Now there are more than 20 houses in Košrags, with only few having permanent residents. The village becomes more lively during summers, when city inhabitants return to spend summer in Košrags.

Saunags village

The village was mentioned in historical sources already in 1310. During the first independence years of Latvia, an elementary school, a shop and sprat salting workshop were found in Saunags. Nowadays, there are only some ten permanent residents living in the village all through the year; but it becomes a brisk place during summers. The historical houses are well-maintained and neat, and the younger generation houses fit well among the traditional ones.