Vijciems parish

Vijciems parish

Vijciems parish contact information


 Parish administration manager

 Telephone number


Valka district,

Valdis Šaicāns




Territory: 142 km2

Population: 727 (01.01.2013.)

Largest populated places: Vijciems

Coat of arms of Vijciems parish:

Heraldic description – Silver field divided with a blue wavy beams in the head section. At the top three pine cones, at the bottom a type of scaling in an imbricate form.

Ideological description – The silver scales in the base of the coat of arms of Vijciems Parish depicts the scaly wooden plank cladding of Vijciems church. The brown cones at the top of the silver background of the coat of arms reflects the Vijciems cone kiln. The blue stripe shown in the middle of the coat of arms symbolizes the Vija River, which sweeps and runs through the parish territory.

Geographical position

Vijciems is located in (Tālava lowlands Seda plains).

The left tributary of Gauja called Vija flows through the parish, which continuously winds and weaves in its 62 km long way, but its fall is quite sizable - 1.2 meters per kilometer. Vija flows into Gauja 3 km downstream of Vijciems. A fast, rapid stage at the river downstream ends with a red sandstone cliff – “Kankarīšu iezi”. With the forests overgrown “Celīškalns” rises over the center of Vijciems, which is 0,5 km downstream to Vija left shore. The area occupies approximately 3 hectares, it rises 22 m over the surroundings.

The total area of Vijciems parish is 14193,2 hectare, including,

  • LIZ 2983,0 hectares or 21,0 %
  • forests 9613,5 hectares or 67,7 %
  • swamps 401,8 hectares or 2,8 %
  • under water 519,1 hectares or 3,7 %
  • roads 291,9 hectares or 2,1 %
  • yards 116,3 hectares or 0,8 %
  • other land 267,0 hectares or 1.9 %

The territory of Vijciems parish is crossed by 1st category auto route Smiltene – Valka.


Vijciems parish in ancient times belonged to the latgallians of Tālava state in Trikāta County as a “village next to the river Vija”. Some historians are confident that the name “Vijciems” was derived from the name of the river Vija and from Estonian “viis” – which means “osier”, but others believe that it formed from the name of the river Vija, which flows through the parish.

For the first time Vijciems was mentioned in year 1224. The registered mound “Celītkalns” next to the shore of the river Vija is the witness of antiquity in Vijciems parish. Vijciems parish borders with Valka, Bilska, Zvārtava, Plāņi, Trikata parishes. It is located almost in the middle between Valka and Smiltene.

The first forestry school in the Baltics began operating in year 1898 in Vijciems. A haunting house was built in year 1899, but it burnt down in year 1905 during the revolution. A new brick building – the haunting palace – was built in the exact same place in year 1907, it has maintained till nowadays and was renovated in year 1989.

Culture and nature objects

In the current center of the village Vijciems have maintained many manor houses built in the 19th century. The parish has at least eight unique objects today that deserves attention. These are: Lutheran Church of Vijciems, Celīškalns, Bitarīnkalns, ethnographic fence of Bodden, Cone kiln, Forest School, hunting palace and the center of the parish.

The Lutheran Church of Vijciems was built in year 1852. It is a one nave wooden building with a distinctive outer covered wall. They are covered with scaly wooden boards. There are artistic monuments of national importance – altar and an altarpiece “The Last Supper” painted in a tree.

The mound “Celīškalns” next to the shore of the river Vija is the witness of antiquity in Vijciems parish. An ancient place of worship called “Bitarīnkalns”, where was found a cemetery, is located next to the “Silbitaru” homes approximately 600 m to the north from “Celīškalns”.

5 km from the center of the village is located a populated place called “Mežmuiža”. A three-storied building, built of red brick, sheltered with tiled roof, welcomes everybody when entering “Mežamuiža”. It is the oldest cone kiln in Latvia, it was built in year 1895 and supplied seeds, not only the whole Vidzeme district, but also for export. It works even nowadays as Cone kiln and as a museum.