Strenči is a city in Vidzeme, the center of Strenči district on the bank of the Gauja. An important center for forestry, transport and medical services. As the formation and development of Strenči was facilitated by the forest industry and the floating of trees along the Gauja, Strenči was formerly called the "capital of Gauja rafts". Every year in May in Strenči the raft festival is celebrated.


Geographical location
Strenči is located in the Seda plain of the Tālava lowlands, on the right bank of the Gauja, up about 5 km long Strenči rapids. About 15 km long Strenčupīte flows through the city.

It is crossed by the national highway A3, which connects the city with Valmiera (19.4 km) and Valka (30 km), and the railway line Riga-Lugaži.

Coat of Arms
The coat of arms of the city of Strenči was approved in 1938. The blue background of the coat of arms symbolizes the Gauja, four horizontal golden stripes symbolize the trees floating along the Gauja, and three golden diamonds - the railway passing through Strenči.

The first source that tells about the settlement on the site of the current city of Strenči is the Swedish Vidzeme post office maps of Riga-Tērbata post office at the end of the 17th century. In the second half of the 18th century, loggers and raftsmen began to settle here on the lands of Ēvele, Jaunjērcēni and Keiži manors.

Strenči began to develop into an important settlement after the opening of Stakeln station (German: Stakeln) in 1889 on the railway line Riga-Pskov. In 1895, Strenči acquired the rights of a town. In the forest between the railway station and the Riga-Tartu highway in 1899, on the initiative of the Vidzeme Knights, it was decided to build the Vidzeme Provincial Psychiatric Hospital, the construction of which began in 1903 (designed by architect Augusts Reinbergs) and in 1907 hospitals in Europe with a landscaped park. The first director of the hospital was Albert Beer. In 1907, the Strenči Society was established, in 1910 the Credit Union and the Householders' Association.

After the founding of the Republic of Latvia, Strenči developed into an important trade and production center of North Vidzeme, therefore in 1928 they were granted city rights. In 1935, the city had 313 residential houses (11 masonry, 180 wooden, 122 mixed type), 59 shops and 76 manufacturing companies - mills, wool cardboard, carpentry, sausage workshop, etc.

World War II marked tragic turning points in the life of a small town: in 1941, Soviet repressors deported 24 residents of the city without a court order, and in 1943, the Nazis killed many patients in a psychiatric hospital. The deportations were repeated in 1949, when 20 people were deported.

After the war, a forest industry farm (MRS) was established in the city with a sawmill and carotene plant and a branch of the Riga chemical engineering plant "Rinar". Due to migration, the population increased from 1,763 people in 1935 to 2,666 people in 1979.

Cultural and historical monuments
Strenči pharmacy, built in 1901. Strenči Church was built in 1907, but its tower was built in 1937 and its architect is Friedrich Skujiņš. In 1907, the construction of the Strenči Psychoneurological Hospital was completed, its architect is A. Reinbergs. Today, the hospital also has a museum. In 1909, the construction of a reinforced concrete bridge over the Gauja was completed.


How to get here

Railway transport
The railway service connects Strenci with Riga and Valga, daily three pairs of diesel trains Riga - Valga stop at Strenci station.

The A3 Inčukalns - Valmiera - Estonian border (Valka) motorway, which is part of the European route E 264, passes through Strenci.
The regional road P25 Smiltene - Strenci approaches Strenci.
Local roads include V233 Strenci - Trikata - Miega, V238 Strenci - Erceny - Evele - Kemere, V239 Station Seda - Strenci and V240 Strenci - Viciems - Mezhmuiza.

Intercity bus service
The main routes are Strenci - Valmiera - Riga; Strenchi - Seda - Valka; Strenci - Smiltene.