Valmiera has existed since the 11th century. It belonged to the territory of the ancient Latgalian settlement of Tālava. The city was located by a large trade route that went from the Gulf of Riga up the Gauja, dividing behind Valmiera in two directions - to Pskov, Novgorod and Tartu. At the end of the 12th century, the feudal invasion of Latvia began.
1224 - Valmieras becomes dependant from Order of the Brothers of the Sword, who built a stone castle.
Valmiera, as the beginning of the formation of the city, is considered to be the year 1283, when the construction of St. Simon's Church in Valmiera began, as well as the master of the order Villekins von Endorps founded Valmiera Castle (data from the Chronicle of Livonia Livonia).

Valmiera reached its economic prosperity in the 14th and 15th centuries and, as a significant trading center, joined the Hanseatic League. In Valmiera, due to its advantageous geographical position (it was located in the very center of Livonia), meetings of Landtags and City Days were often held.
1323 - Valmiera is governed by a magistrate and this testifies that Valmiera is one of the oldest towns in Latvia. During different centuries and in documents the town's name has been written differently. There are several versions about the origin of the name, but here are the two most popular. - Wolmaria, Wolmahr, Waldemer and Wolmar.
The first is connected with Prince Vladimir of Pskov, whom in 1212 Riga bishop Albert appointed to be the county judge.
The second tells about the Danish Kind Valdemar, who won a fight with the help of a flag that was sent from heaven.

1365 - the first document of Valmiera was delivered as a member of the Hanseatic City League.

14. - 16. century Valmiera is a typical town of the Middle Ages, surrounded by stone walls and hosting regular meeting of Livonian towns and landtags.

1560 - during the Livonia War the warriors of the Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible destroy the neighborhood of Valmiera, but cannot occupy the town.

1583 - after the war of Livonia destroyed town is included in the Cēsis bishopric that belonged to Poland.

1622 - Valmiera is occupied by warriors of the Swedish King Gustav Adolf and the town together with several other towns and castles in Vidzeme are presented to the Swedish State Chancellor Aksel Uksenshern, a part of his family's coat of arms (a forehead of a red ox) is part of Valmiera's town emblem.

The wars of the 16th, 17th and 17th centuries between Russia, Sweden and Poland, changes of ownership, as well as plague epidemics and several fires brought a lot of damage to Valmiera. It becomes an ordinary city. The situation started to improve only after 1785, when Valmiera was designated as the county town.

1802 - a vast peasants' protest movement against noblemen's violence take place in the neighborhood of Valmiera and is known as the Peasant's Rebellion of Kauguri.

The economic development of the city accelerated at the beginning of the 19th century. It is characterized by population growth. In 1820 it was 529, but already in 1897 there were 5050 people living in Valmiera.
In the second half of the 19th century, raft traffic over the River Gauja was organized in Valmiera, and the city streets began to be paved.

In the summer of 1865, the first wooden bridge over the River Gauja was opened. The economic situation of the city is improved by the Riga-Petersburg railway, which was built in 1899 and passes through Valmiera. It promotes the development of industry, trade and construction. The first factories and factories will be established in Valmiera. At Valmiera railway station, a new part of the city grows - Kārliena, but on the left bank of the Gauja - Pārgauja.

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, important educational institutions were opened in Valmiera: Valka - Valmiera teachers' seminar, deaf school, women's gymnasium, real school, trade school, Liepiņi private gymnasium and other educational institutions, making Valmiera the Vidzeme education center.

In 1905, the Prime Minister of Latvia Kārlis Ulmanis worked in the Baltic Farmers' Association in Valmiera, headed by H. Endzeliņš, promoting cooperation between farmers in Latvia.

At the beginning of the 20th century, several small industrial companies operated in Valmiera - Veides flax carding factory, Līcis weaving and spinning workshop, Peterson linen spinning mill. There are a lot of small-scale and craft workshops, including several printing houses.

According to 1920 statistics, there are 422 industrial and 440 commercial enterprises in the city, employing 2037 people (on average 2.5 people per enterprise). The city is expanding. Dozens of houses are being built on the land of the former Valmiermuiža. The largest company of its time in Valmiera is the "Bacon Export" factory.

1920s - 1930s - after the establishment of the Republic of Latvia, Valmiera becomes an important administrative, economic, educational, cultural and sports centre of Northern Vidzeme. The famous Valmiera mineral water is discovered. Hundreds of spectators gather for competitions where the world champion Jānis Daliņš takes part in speed walking competitions.

September 1944 - German military troops withdraw from Valmiera and the Red Army occupies the town. This is disastrous because 1/3 of all the town's houses and almost all of the historical centre of Valmiera burns down.

In the post-war years, the central part of Valmiera is being rebuilt. Throughout the post-war period, Valmiera was the center of the district. Since 1959, the Valmiera administration has the territory of the current district.

1960 - 2000 - During the last half century, Valmiera is growing rapidly both in terms of economic importance and population, much faster than other cities of Vidzeme region, strengthening itself as the most important city of the whole Vidzeme region.

At present, Valmiera City Council has returned to its almost historical place of the town hall. Valmiera St. Simon's Church, which was built in 1283 and is one of the oldest stone buildings in Latvia, has also been restored. Not far from it is the Old Pharmacy - the oldest wooden building in Valmiera. these buildings, together with the medieval castle ruins of the Livonian Order, form the historic center of the city.


Valmiera architecture

Valmiera has many architectural, historical and cultural monuments. The witness of Valmiera's fate is Valmiera St. Simon's Church, which was built in 1283. Valmiera St. Simon's Church is one of the oldest stone buildings in Latvia, which combines Romanesque and Gothic styles in its architecture. The church has valuable artistic monuments - Dresden Art Academy Professor and Saxon court painter Carl Christian Vogel von Vogelstein altarpiece with rare scene "Temptation of Christ" (1842), the pipe organ made by Weissenfels organ builder Friedrich Ladegast (1886) and others.

The castle ruins of the Livonian Order of Valmiera and the remains of the city's medieval fortification near the Gauja are a reminder of the center of Valmiera from the 13th century to the present day. Only fragments of the castle's outer walls have been preserved, which have been partially preserved, as well as basements and fragments of the walls of some buildings uncovered in archeological excavations at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s. Castle ruins are a significant recreation place for Valmiera residents and city guests.

The 18th-19th century buildings of the city center were destroyed in September of 1944, when a fire completely or partially damaged about 30% of the city 's buildings. Therefore, in Valmiera are only a few 18th century built buildings, such as the Old Pharmacy, Walter's House, Horse Post Station and others.

In some districts of the city, samples of wooden and masonry buildings built at the beginning of the 19th and 20th centuries have been preserved, as well as important public buildings built in the 1930s - the neo-eclectic Valmiera Viesturs Secondary School (1939), Valmiera Secondary School No. 5 (1940).

Soviet-era architecture is represented by the cinema "Gaisma" and the old department store, as well as apartment buildings. However, modern architecture is gradually entering Valmiera, as an example - the new shopping center. You can get familiar with other important places of art and architecture in Valmiera in the created guidebook. (43.00 MB)

Valmiera coat of arms
Earliest known Valmiera coat of armshas remained from the beginning of the 16th century. It is a lime-tree with two shields with a cross on them hanging from the branches of the tree. During the Swedish rule both shields were removed and the roots of the lime-tree were replaced with a head of an ox, deriving from the emblem of the ruling Oxenstierna family coat of arms. Current coat of arms is a mixture of the two: on a golden background there is a green lime-tree, a red head of an ox and two shields which resemble the flag of Latvia. Current coat of arms was approved in 1925.

Flag of Valmiera
The flag of Valmiera was approved on 6 December 1996. It has two colours – autumn golden and cornflower blue. The coat of arms of Valmiera is located in the middle. Those are distinctive colours for the Northern Vidzeme region, symbolizing the blue water of the Gauja River and yellow marsh-marigold fields on its banks. For more than 300 years it was typical scenery for Valmiera. During the reign of the queen Christina, a flag for the purposes of the Valmiera garrison was bought. Under this yellow and blue flag the battalion of Valmiera which was formed by the order of the King Charles XII from the companies of Valmiera, Ēvele, Burtnieki, Valtenberģi and Rūjiena went to war during the Great Northern War (1700–1721). Also during the First Awakening of Latvia several associations within Valmiera chose yellow and blue colours for their flags. Therefore in 1996 the city council suggested to approve the yellow and blue flag as the official flag of Valmiera.


Valmiera logo

The Valmiera logo is laconic and easily recognizable. The logo shows Valmiera as a safe, stable, purposeful, convincing, modern city. The Valmiera logo includes the Valmiera symbol - a medal of growth, symbolizing three principles that are important for Valmiera: nature as a value, well-being and joy of life.

Download logo GAUJAS DARK BLUE, WHITE SNOW. The logo can also be used in other Valmiera colors. More about the brand of Valmiera

The symbol of Valmiera - a medal of growth

The symbol of Valmiera is simple and unique. It is based on the idea of the Valmiera Medal, which celebrates success and growth.
Download the symbol CORN FLOWER, SNOW WHITE. The symbol can also be used in other Valmiera colors.

Valmiera's slogan - Live green! Evergreen city!

We live green!, because we strive for growth and development
We live green !, because we are proud of our achievements and happy about them
We live green!, because we are responsible for the environment and we are proud of it

Download the slogan in latvian.

To Valmiera!

Valmiera is the largest city in Vidzeme with an active economic life, rich traditions in culture, art and sports. Here the ancient meets the modern, the industrial meets the natural and therefore the city residents and guests feel good. Come and see for yourself!

See and find out

Valmiera's small old town on the banks of the Gauja will give a pleasant charm next to the active rhythm of city life. You will learn about the history of the city at the Valmiera Museum by listening to an audioguide or going on a guided excursion.
Enjoy culture and art
Valmiera is the only city in Vidzeme with a professional theater, and it is one of the best in Latvia. Critic R. Dolzhanskii from Russia has said about Valmiera Drama Theater - it is a phenomenon of Baltic theater that theater can function so successfully in such a small town.
Eat delicious meals and sleep elegantly
After such a long program, you should eat well and relax. This will be taken care of by the friendly owners of the cafes and hospitable accommodation places.
Play sports and cheer to others
Valmiera is an Olympic city, its name has been brought to the world by Olympic vice-champions in race walking - Jānis Daliņš, Aigars Fadējevs and two-time Olympic champion in BMX cycling Māris Štrombergs. There is a basis for this - Vidzeme Olympic Center, Valmiera swimming pool, Māra Štromberga BMX track "Valmiera" and sports bases, where you can play sports and train every day, as well as watch and sympathize with sports competitions of various scales.
Relax actively
Valmiera is the only city in Latvia through which flows the river Gauja . Its vacant shores are a great place for active recreation individually or under the guidance of professional specialists. Here you can start or end a boat trip on the river Gauja, enjoy the joys of winter, go horseback riding, cycling and enjoy the charm of nature. In summer, the only Gauja river tram in Latvia runs along the river Gauja.

Before going on a further shopping tour, come to Valmiera! Maybe you will save time and money. Perhaps the big shopping malls, stores, salons and small shops will bring you a real shopping pleasure.
Transact business and organize social events
If you have decided to meet business partners, hold a seminar, celebrate a wedding or otherwise relax with a group of friends, everyone will find the most suitable place in Valmiera - in a comfortable conference / party hall, a cozy country house with a sauna or a luxurious castle.
  • Venues for events
Take care of health and wellness
Beauty salons, saunas, spas and health complexes invite you to improve your well-being, disconnect from everyday problems, listen to your body and enjoy the care of professional specialists for your well-being.
Enjoy the nightlife and have fun
On weekends, nightclubs and cafés offer entertainment for all tastes. Every day Valmiera can watch movies or a theater performance.
Valmiera offers a wide range of educational opportunities. Here is the only university in Vidzeme - Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. A traveler of any age can take the opportunity to attend various educational courses offered by the Knowledge and Technology Center of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences.