CLIMATOTHERAPY, WATER TREATMENT AND STRAWBERRY
The first reports of Jurmala as a resort committed in 1783, when Kaugurtsiems was visited by the first guests – the landowners of Courland. Gradually, in Europe bathing and rest by the sea came into the fashion, and the Riga seaside was gaining its popularity. Active development of Jurmala as a resort was connected with the early 19th century, when after the war with Napoleon, the Russian army officers arrived here for health recovery.
District of Kemeri was famous for its healing waters and mud already in the 18th century. Officially Kemeri received the status of resort in 1838, when there was built the first baths. In 1928, Kemery was given the city status but in 1971, thanks to its healing factors, Kemer was granted the status of All-Union resort.
In 1870, in Dubulti there opened the first "bathing organization" – sanatorium Marienbad. Permanent sanatorium physician Dr. Nordshtem began using the treatment methods of climatotherapy, prescribing to patients jogging on the beach, swimming in the seawater, and gymnastics in the open air. End of 19th – early 20th century is considered the heyday of Jurmala, just at that time there were built most of the wooden architecture “pearls”, spa facilities, and cultural institutions. Clinics with baths filled with heated seawater have become very popular.
Melluzhi and Asari were famous for their strawberry gardens: strawberry seedlings in Asari had been imported from France, and later strawberries were sold not only to locals but sent by cars to Riga and St. Petersburg. In 1920, the seven areas – from Priedaine to Kauguri – got the name of the Riga seaside, and in November 11, 1959 there was founded the city of Jurmala, uniting the the Riga seaside, Kemer and Sloka.
History of Jurmala Architecture
Jurmala can be justly called an open-air museum of architecture. Nowadays, more than 4000 buildings have status of cultural monuments. Jurmala wooden buildings were mainly developed in late 19th – early 20th century, and they show the whole range of architectural styles – eclectic, neo-classicism, Art Deco, national romanticism, functionalism. But all of these styles are refracted through the prism of Jurmala, creating a totally unique approach of the local architecture – light, elegant and festive, with lace of wooden carving, turrets, wind cocks, porches and colorful stained glass windows.
Wooden architecture of Jurmala is recognized as unique across Europe. In 1998, the European Council included the historic center of Jurmala, and part of its wooden buildings in the draft list of cultural and natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO.