Some of Latvia’s most famous tourist attractions are linked to the legend of a young maiden known as the Rose of Turaida. More specifically, she is famous for the tragic way she died at the hands of a spurned admirer. You couldn’t read such violence to some liberal people today without a myriad of trigger warnings. In this part of the world, though, the Rose is still held up as a model of faithfulness and devotion, and the sites associated with her in Sigulda and Turaida remain popular with pilgrims.
My journey to understand the legend the began with a day trip out of the capital Riga. I will describe the legend and each site’s link to it as I go along. Before I begin, though: violence against women and offensive Polish stereotypes ahead. [Read on]