History of Mazsalaca
Mazsalaca is located in Northern Vidzeme on the right bank of the Salaca River - the upper city on the steep upper bank, but the lower city in the ancient river valley.
Mazsalaca developed in the mid-19th century while Baron Arnold Fietinghof (1833-1918) lived in Waltenberg Manor with his family. He wished to develop the area and thus picked the choicest location on his land where five roads intrescted: Matīšu-Burtnieku-Valmieras, Braslavas-Alojas-Staiceles, Košķeles-Sēļu, Pantenes-Rūjienas, Pērnavas as well as the road to the manor land. In order to enhance development of a hamlet, the Baron leased the land for low prices - approximately 5 silver rubles annually per 1/3 of a hectare. In addition, many plots were given outright to long-term or loyal manor servants.
The oldest buildings in Mazslaca are St. Anna's church (part built in the 14th century), Prāmja (Ferry) and Baltais (White) taverns, as well as the council house and pharmacy which served as the basis for town development during the second half of the 19th century.
The council house was built in 1867 by the local citizens, but the first brick building, the pharmacy, belonged to pharmacist Oscar Brehm. It is interesting to note that the building still serves as a pharmacy.
These buildings have survived to this day and continue to serve as a historic reminder of the past.
Mazsalaca was known by its German name Salisburg until 1925. The name originated with the ancient Liv castle (Salaca castle) that was located on the lest bank of the Salaca, across from Waltenberg Manor, until the invasion by the Teutonic Knights.
The modern city is named for the Salaca River and is Mazsalaca (Small Salaca) because the river is comparatively smaller flowing out of Lake Burtnieks than downstream by Salacgrīva.
The city recieved city rights in 1928. In January 1930, the Saeima (Parliament) passed a law for the development of the Rīga-Mazsalaca-Rūjiena railway line. It was to be a wide-gage line. In March 1936 workers, including many locals, began construction of cement bridge across the Salaca and a year later the Rīga-Mazsalaca line was offically opened.
This was a big day for the small city of Mazsalaca. The first train, pulled by flower-adorned locomotive, was greeted by over 2000 people and a march was played by a brass band.
The dreams of the local inhabitants of quicker transportation to the capital Rīga as well as the hopes of future development of Northern Vidzeme had been fulfilled. Unfortunatley, World War 2 put an end that when the German army blew up the bridge and destroyed the tracks in 1944. Later, in 1977, railway traffic was restored, but it was discontinued in 1996 when the bridge was transformed for pedestrian use.
Mazsalacas novada pašvaldība