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Holly Maidens' Chambers (Svētmeitu kambari)

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In the surroundings of the Kaļķi village, in the side ravine of Slītere's Zilie kalni (Blue Hills), about 400 m north of the Dižanti homestead, at the top side of the right main bank of the ravine, in the woods.
lat=57.5669444444, lon=22.4738888889
57° 34' 0" N, 22° 28' 26" E

One of the longest caves in Kurzeme. A maze of complicated, narrow and

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low caves that was dug up in 1993 and had been for a while some 40 m long in total. In March 1997, the length of the caves was only 24 meters, because in a short period of time several landslides occurred. In 2011, without taking great risk, one could examine only some 8 meters of the underground path system of brittle, red sandstone rock. The cave is mainly dry, occasionally damp, very landslide dangerous. Once, according to the planning, the Holly Maidens' Chambers used to be narrow, winding paths and side-paths with three wider rooms underground. The planning, in comparison to other caves of Kurzeme, was complicated. In three places the paths had even been formed in two levels — one above the other, which is not an often found formation in Latvian caves, but it is an evidence of underground spring routes, which have disappeared nowadays.


Already in 1809 in the book by Ulrich von Schlippenbach (in German) it was said that the cave was partially landslid. Before there was a wide room with a stone table in the middle. U. von Schlippenbach had heard a tale that in the cave once a very holly woman lived and that was why the cave was called the Holly Maiden's Chamber (Svētās jumpravas kambaris). Since the beginning of the 20th century, the caves have been gradually landslid, dug up at the beginning of 1990s, but now they are again gradually filled up and getting silted. The chamber or cave in former times consisted of three parts: the front largest cave, the middle smaller cave and the last - the smallest cave, into which one could only get by crawling. From the last cave, a spring flew out bringing water to a small brooklet. Old people say that in former times in this brooklet there was never water shortage and there were many fish, especially trout. Now there is neither trout in the brooklet, nor other fish, because due to the cave fill-up the spring does not flow directly into the brooklet anymore, but breaks out by leaking through the ground. In earlier times, one could hear sounds in the cave resembling the sound of the spinner. Thus the tale says that in the cave holly maidens lived who span there. The sound, probably, arose from the water dripping from the cave's walls. Once the proprietor of the Ante-Karl homestead of that time Kārlis Vītols ordered some one-day-hired man Kriķītis to dig up the cave paying five copecks a day. Kriķītis was lazy bones. Having dug one day long, he came home and told that he felt asleep at midday while digging and the holly maidens told him in his sleep to leave the cave in peace and stop digging it up, otherwise it would get on badly. That is why Kriķītis refused to carry on digging works. The cave is still filled up. (1960, 4855. In Dundaga of Ventspils recorded by F. Īvnieks 1932 – Latviešu tautas teikas. Izcelšanās teikas. (Latvian Folk Tales. Tales of Origin.) 1991, pp. 127–128)

Access hindered. There are no information signs. Located in the woods. One must walk from the Dižanti homestead across the meadow about 400 m in north direction. Around the object, there are landslides, territory overgrown with fern and bush.
Infrastruktur, ledning, lokaler
There have been no facilitation and maintenance works performed within the territory, no indication signs
Lokal information
There is no information stand on site
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Rättslig ställning
When visiting, one must be very cautious - landslide threatened!

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