Kārķi parish


Kārķi parish contact information


Parish administration manager

              Telephone number


“Ausmas”, Kārķi parish
Valka district,

Pēteris Pētersons

            64728020, 26280656


Territory: 124 km2

Population: 725 (01.01.2013.)

Largest populated places: Kārķi, Veckārķi, Vēveri.

Coat of arms of Kārķi parish:

Heraldic description – A blue cross on a silver field, a golden bee in front of it.

Sketch ideas description of coat of arms – Silver color for the base of the coat of arms was selected, because it symbolizes brightness, strong traditions and Latvian values in Kārķi parish. The blue cross symbolizes spirituality, dignity, clean environment, faith, hope and love. The blue color also tells about the near Estonian border.
Spiritual values were always been important in Kārķi parish. The renovated folk house, the built church, which is one of the newest in Latvia, the school with 127 years old history, the Great men and the Great women table and their planted grove, the spiritual contribution to the development of the parish from every resident of this parish, is the evidence of that. Clean environment and air – one of the biggest values in our parish. The air in Kārķi is the cleanest in whole Europe after some specific researches. Beautiful and scenically lakes and rivers are located in the parish, about them are sung in the anthem of Kārķi, all these things we can see in the blue crossroads of the coats of arms.

The golden bee in the middle of the coat of arms symbolizes activity, hardworking, environment friendly laboring. There are many residents in the parish who do beekeeping, also a small bee apiary and an apple orchard is established next to the school. The blue color stands for the hope – we all live in hope – everything will be good!

Geographical position

Kārķi parish is located in the Northen Vidzeme, in Valka district, 160 km from Riga, 25 km from the Estonian border, nearest towns are Rūjiena – 22 km, Valka – 30 km and Valmiera – 45 km.

The 1st category auto route Valka-Rūjiena (includes in Northen string) crosses the parish. The territory of the parish is located in the Northen Vidzeme biosphere reserve.

Mostly Estonians were living in Kārķi district from 9th decade till 10th decade, they had close contact with Latgalians. Around the 13th decade the Estonians were displaced or they re-Latvianed.

Natural and cultural objects

Kārķi parish is located in the Northen Vidzeme biosphere reserve.

Half territory of Kārķi is located in a plain, the other half on the Ērģeme-Daksti rampart (small hillock) creating a beautiful landscape characteristic to Vidzeme.

The air in Kārķi is the cleanest in whole Europe after some specific researches. “Bezdibeņu” swamp (397 hectars) is the largest swamp in the parish, with a very large lake in it. Unusual fact is that there is no life in the lake. Assuming that there is gas under the lake.

Unique natural objects are the cave called “Spiģi” next to Seda and the spring called “Rūceklītis”. 77 liters of water with a temperature of 5,5 degrees is pouring out from the depth of the cave. It is an unusually cold water. Once a year – in May the spring buzzes like bees, scientists explain that the sound cames from the water pouring in an underground lake (The cave is located in the territory of Naukšēni parish, but it can be accessed only by a ground road through Kārķi).

There are 12 larger and smaller lakes in Kārķi. The largest one is called Cepša Lake, it is a popular place for resting. A river called Ķire flows through the parish with its 9 tributaries. The border river of the parish is Seda, which is rich in fish, once there was also crayfish.

There is some preserved historical evidence that the farmers, who lived next to Seda, have found also pearls and gave them to the Tsar's court.

The Great and historical trees

One of the biggest values in Kārķi parish are the Great trees and the forest. At expeditions in Kārķi guided by professor Guntis Eniņs were measured 16 historical, peculiar and Great trees.

While expedition, the coordinates on the globe of all trees were measured by a special device, which guarantees an accuracy of 10 meters. Nationwide Great trees are:

  • “Naglas” Great willow (girth of 6,25 m). Located next to the road Valka – Rūjiena. “Naglas” is the home of climber Imants Zauls.
  • „Salu” lime (girth of 4,00 m). Historical and cult tree.
  • „Saliņu” pine (girth of 3,40 m)
  • „Vecjandavu” lime (girth of 4,65 m)

Historical trees:

  • Ulmaņa oak
  • Baloža oak
  • Love pine in High hill
  • Punishment pine in New Kārķi park

Peculiar trees:

  • Spruce – wonder tree. A peculiar sort of tree taken in under protection of the state. “These kind of trees I call wonder trees. Spruce could be the most popular tourism object in Kārķi if the area would be cleaned out a bit.” states Guntis Eniņš. The girth of a “Market” spruce is 2.20 meters, the prospective age is 80 years.  Branches are leaning to the sky in a nine prongs way instead of leaning down.
  • „Brūnu” larch (harp’s shape)
  • „Vecjandavu” spruce with a wind broom