Project Description

The Rose of Turaida

Latvia’s Turaida Castle is a home of a tragic love legend that lives under a linden tree to this day. In 1601, after Swedish troops captured Turaida castle, a castle clerk called Greif found a small baby, saved from a certain death in the embrace of her dead mother. Greif decided to name the child Maija and give her a home like she was his own. The child soon became an exquisite beauty, braced with such loveliness that she became known as the “Rose of Turaida“. A gardener called Victor Heil captured Maija’s young heart, and the two, soon to be married, rendezvoused at Gūtmanis cave in the evenings. On one evening, Maija received a note from Viktor, asking her to meet at their favorite spot, but upon her arrival she saw that it wasn’t Viktor who awaited her, but a polish nobleman Adam Jakubowski whom she had rejected in the past. Maija, wanting to defend her honor and loyalty to Viktor after realizing that the nobleman won’t let her go, told Adam that she has a magic scarf which is impossible to cut through. She promised she would give it to him if he let her go, encouraging him to test its magical powers by striking her with his weapon. Adam struck the girl with an ax, leaving her lifeless on the floor of the Gutmanis cave. Later in the evening desperate Victor Heil found his love dead and rushed to Turaida for help, only to be accused of her murder. Even though he was arrested and persecuted, the course of events changed when a witness Peteris Skudritis testified that he had delivered Jakubowski’s fatal letter to Maija. Viktor was freed, yet his heart was torn. He buried his Rose near the castle and planted a linden tree on the grave before leaving the country forever. Ever since then, lovers leave flowers on the grave of the Rose of Turaida, hoping for the same eternal love and devotion like the two lovers had.