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Ogre Town History

The archeological excavations testify that the Livi tribes inhabited the territory of Ogre already in the 1 st century BC. The region has been governed by the Germans, the Poles, the Swedes and the Russians since then. The numerous wars impoverished the vicinity, there were just a few farms, and horses used to be the only means of transport to Riga.
The opening of the railway line to Riga in 1861, the favourable climate and geographical position contributed to Ogre’s development into a rest area, and a resort was opened here in 1862. Before World War I more than 300 summer homes were built in Ogre but almost all of them were destroyed during the war.

In 1920 Ogre was registered as a hamlet but in 1928 it received the rights of a town. At that time there were 1,100 inhabitants but the territory covered 428.5 ha.

Year 1926 marked a special period in the development of Ogre, as a lot of land was divided into land plots and Riga inhabitants and participants of liberation movement started construction on them. At that time there existed such industrial units as a cardboard factory, a flourmill, a cement foundry, a carpenter’s shop. The town with the population of 1,727 people had expanded and occupied 850 ha. The national composition was homogeneous – 83% were the Latvians.
The transformation of Ogre into an industrially developed district centre started after World War II and brought about a turning point in its development. The construction of a knitted-wear factory was started in 1965, and a new industrial region started developing in the eastern suburb of the town in the 1970s. Due to this, the population grew considerably and in 1984 reached 28.6 thousand (43% of the district inhabitants), considerably changing the national composition, too. Such a growth resulted in massive construction of multi-storeyed apartment houses and destroyed the characteristic historic city environment.
After World War II Ogre was the administrative centre of Ogre District, since July, 2009 the town is the administrative centre of the newly formed Municipality.

Nature

Ogre is a marvellously green town. Thanks to this fact, it has a healthy climate.
Ogre is situated on the banks of the rivers Ogre and Daugava. The Ogre River is fast and curvy, and it’s perfect for the fans of various water sports. The Daugava is attractive to fishermen – people who love their peace and quiet.
As the relief of the town is quite billowy, in some places hills form a natural obstacle for the above ground water on its way to the river Daugava, thus favouring paludification. Part of the territory is covered with 1.5 – 3 m thick sand layer and dolomite bedrocks under it.
There are vast pine forests in and all around Ogre. At any time of the year people can enjoy the healthy aspects of the forest – the fresh and rich air which allows one to regain one’s strength by skiing, bicycling, picking mushrooms and berries, or taking a hike through the Blue Hills.

Places of interest


The Ogre Museum of History and Art
There is a permanent exposition in the museum displaying the history and the development of Ogre Town; a smaller exhibition is devoted also to the history of the building, in which the museum is located (the former bank). Regular exhibitions - both art and thematic ones - are organized in the exhibition halls.





The Ogre Lutheran church
The church was built in 1930. The project was developed by architect H.Kundziņš. It is the local consequence architectural monument.







St. Meinhard's Roman Catholic church
The church was built in 1997. Architect – L.Šmits. The altar, built in 1901, is the donation to the church from St. Mary Magdalene's church in Riga. Altar is national consequence art monument.







St. Nicolas Orthodox church
Located in former Ogre summer cottage. The author of the project L.Kļešina










The bridge across the River Ogre
The authors: V. Salcēvičs, J. Mēness, T. Vitkuss
Built in the late 1960s. The biggest arched bridge in Latvia (94 m long and 4,5 m wide).







The wooden footbridge
In the warm season of the year a 100 m long wooden footbridge is being installed over the Ogre River, thus reviving the swimming resort atmosphere, characteristic for Ogre in the 20ies and 30ies of the previous century.






Ogre Central Square
The square at the beginning of the pedestrian section of Brivibas Street is a popular gathering place both for Ogre residents and guests. With its new attractions - digital fountain, open-air stage and others - it hosts music, art, sports and other entertainment events.






Building "Pie zelta liepas"
The recently reconstructed building in Brivibas Street 18 is an architectural monument, built in 1926. It associates to many inhabitants and guests of the town with the legendary cafe "Pie zelta liepas" (acting from 1969 to 1997). Now it is reopened as a social enterprise.




The house "Kūrmāja"
Built in 1926 as a cafe and a boarding house with specially made palm tree garden. The high circles of society used to gather in this place for various social events.








Brīvības Street 12

The house was built in 1901 as a living house and a shopping centre. After the restoration (1997–1998) there is the recreation centre "The Police Academy '98".





Brīvības Street 11

Built in 1925. It was the first hotel and the restaurant in Ogre called "Esplanāde". In 1928 the Board of the Town bought this building from the private owner for the needs of Municipality. Now the building houses the Ogre Art School and the Ogre branch bank of Swedbank.





The former sanatorium "Ogre"
The building is an architectural monument, built in 1927 according to the project of K. Pēkšēns as a sanatorium for children. The largest and most impressive is the dining room. It is decorated with wall paintings made by Ansis Cīrulis.








The memorial site of the victims of Communist regime
Unveiled in 1989 and reconstructed in 2015, it is situated on the crossing of Upes and Meža Avenue.










The dendorology park "Špakovska parks"

The park is located in Parogre. We can see there more than 7000 plantations, 412 different trees and decorative shrubs. If you want to reach the top of the hill and enjoy the beauty of water lilies, you have to climb 100 steps up the hill. Also you can take a walk along the Marsh Path. The are of the park covers 8,5 ha.







The nature park "Ogre Blue Hills"
The nature park is characterized by picturesque relief and great diversity of vegetation. It is a popular place of recreation, offers excellent possibilities for walking, cycling and cross-country skiing (in 12 km long, partly lighted track) and attracts many visitors both in summer and winter time. Part of the nature park belongs to the territory of Ogre Town.