Coordinates: N 56°58'04,7" E 21°58'44,3"
Location: Kuldiga district, Kuldiga, Venta river, 200 m upstreams from the old brick bridge
Description: Largest waterfall in Latvia by width and flow. It is possible - this is the widest waterfall in Europe.
Waterfall is “retreating” upstreams slowly.
Fishing: In the spillway there have been cut many channels - these were used to catch the fish. According to legends in 17th century here was invented unique device for catching the fish in air. At those channels there were placed some 40 tripods with baskets. Salmon and vimba going against the stream here juped over the spillway. If the jump was not successful, power of water brought the fish back and it fell in the basket. There is no salmon in Venta now. Another fish - sturgeon is extinct since the end of 1892. But in spring time one can enjoy the jumps of numerous vimba.
Bypasses around the waterfall: Duke of Courland Jacob wanted to build a bypass for shipping in middle of 17th century. Works were started but not accomplished. According to the legends they has to be stopped due to damage to nearby Kuldiga castle when trying to explode the dolostone.
Russia planned to create a network of channels uniting all the seas of European part in 19th century. Venta was part of this network - it was planned to unite Venta with Dubisa and Nemunas (in Lithuania). Those waterways would not be feasible because of small size of Venta. Thus the works were stopped in 1831. Bypass around Venta waterfall was discontinued only 30 years later - these works were needed to employ Turkish captives.
© 2005 Latvian Nature Heritage Fund Editor - Ansis Opmanis Design and code - Gatis Pavils