Daugava River: photo, description, sights

Daugava River: photo, description, sights
Daugava River: photo, description, sights

Daugava is not just a river that carries its waters through Latvia, it is the most important life artery of the whole country. Fishermen, farmers and artisans have long settled on the banks of this river. Mighty knights built real castles, and God's servants built temples.

And in our time it is involved in human life. Ships sail along the Daugava River in Latvia, the power of the river is converted into electricity. At all times, painters and poets were inspired by this natural reservoir, and today it attracts the attention of tourists from all over the world.


The river is interesting not only for its amazing beauty, but also for the fact that it carries its waters through the territories of several countries. She takes her start on the Valdai Hills, in the Tver region of Russia. Its length on Russian territory is 325 kilometers. Then it flows through Belarus (327 km). It should be noted that here and in Russia it is called the Western Dvina.

Western Dvina in Belarus

It flows through Latvia from the southeast to the northwest, and its length is 368 km. first inhabitedthe point located on the bank of the river is Kraslava, and the final point is Riga. The mouth of the Daugava - the Gulf of Riga.

The total length of the Daugava River is 1020 km, the valley is 6 km wide. The largest width is at the bay (1.5 kilometers), and the minimum is noted in Latgale (197 meters). The depth of the river is within 0.5-9 meters.

The main channel of the Daugava lies on a plain with a large number of lowlands. In connection with this circumstance, every spring the river overflows heavily, flooding nearby cities.

Daugava river in Latvia


The Daugava River is stunningly beautiful. Throughout its length across the territory of Latvia there are many sights and picturesque settlements. The most famous of them are as follows:

  1. In the region of Kraslava, in Latgale, the river makes 8 sharp bends to Daugavpils, which creates a unique beauty overlooked from the observation decks and natural hills of the Daugava Bends National Park.
  2. Northward, on the left bank of the river, the Daugava sheltered the city of Ilukste with the Dviete floodplain natural park. Every year in the spring it is flooded for 24 km, but this does not prevent travelers from coming here. Here is a picturesque valley, beautiful forests and meadows, and you can also see wonderful plants and rare birds.
  3. On the right bank of the Daugava, where the river flows into. Dubna, the wonderful city of Livany is located. And then at a distance of about 30 km. stands on both banks of the wonderful city of Jekabpils, both parts of which are connected by a bridge across the river.
  4. Betweenthe cities of Aizkraukle and Jaunjelgava extend the magnificent picturesque park "Daugava Valley".
  5. Where the Ogre River flows into the river, in the delta of which the city of the same name is located, there is a natural park. In the past, it was a large fort. It houses the Daugava History Museum.
Daugava Valley Park

Daugava River in Riga

The capital of Latvia is also located on the river. It is located on both banks of the Daugava. Four large automobile bridges are thrown across the river in the border of the city. From Andrejsala (peninsula), located in Old Riga, the port of Riga originates, stretching all the way to the Gulf of Riga.

The Daugava is annually rafted in kayaks and boats. Amateurs and athletes come here from all over the world. Tourists enjoy picturesque views of the banks of the river, traveling on pleasure yachts, motor ships and river trams. The serenity and silence of these places conquers at first sight and remains in the hearts of travelers for life.

Picturesque shores near Vitebsk

A bit of history

As noted above, the Daugava River in Russia is called the Western Dvina. The writer N. M. Karamzin, like many historians, identified Eridan (a river god in ancient Greek mythology) with the Western Dvina. Amber (“Tears of Heliad”) was found near the mouth of the Western Dvina.

Throughout history, the Western Dvina had 14 names: Dina, Tanair, Vina, Turun, Dune, Rodan, Eridan, etc. In the 15th century, the Flemish knight Gilbert de Lannoa noted that the Dvina was called the SemigalliansSamegalzaroy (Semgale water).

In ancient times, the path "from the Varangians to the Greeks" went along this reservoir. For the first time the name "Dvina" is mentioned by Nestor (monk-chronicler). According to V. A. Zhuchkevich, Dvina has a Finnish origin with the meaning “quiet, calm”. And the Latvian name "Daugava", apparently, was formed from the ancient B altic words: daug - "abundantly, a lot" and ava - "water".

Geologically, the settlement of the Western Dvina River basin began in the Mesolithic.

Daugava river in Riga

Major cities and tributaries

The largest tributaries of the Daugava River (Western Dvina):

  • in Russia - Mezha, Veles and Torop;
  • in Belarus - Usvyach, Luchosa, Kasplya, Ulla, Polota, Obol, Ushacha, Drissa, Disna, Saryanka;
  • in Latvia – Ogre, Aiviekste and Dubna.

Cities located on the banks of the Dvina: Western Dvina, Andriapol, Velizh, Polotsk, Vitebsk, Novopolotsk, Beshenkovichi, Disna, Druya, Verhnedvinsk, Kraslava, Livani, Daugavpils, Jekabpils, Aizkraukle, Ogre, Plavinas, Jaunelgava, Lielvarde, Ikskile, Ķegums, Salaspils and Riga.

Blue waters of the Daugava

In conclusion

A video was recently posted on the networks, which caused surprise and some horror among many. It depicts a rather powerful whirlpool in Latvia on the Daugava River. It became a sensation. In just a few days, more than 1.8 million people viewed it on YouTube. The video, which was filmed by Janis Astičs in the spring, shows that the whirlpool carries away deep into the river, everything that falls into its stream is tree branches and evenrather large pieces of snow and ice.

According to the stories of frightened local residents, it even happened that the whirlpool sucked into itself various cargoes floating along the river, and even the wreckage of sunken ships.

The whirlpool of the Daugava River has been scaring local residents for the past few years, and not only. Today it is considered one of the most amazing and incomprehensible phenomena.

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