The museum is located at a 6-km distance from “Karlamuiza” hotel. This is the first open-air archaeology museum in the Baltic States. The museum allows to see how our ancestors lived a thousand years ago. The 9th century dwelling of ancient Latgalians was reconstructed in accordance with discovered remains of wooden buildings and artefacts. Archaeological excavations in the 60-s and 70-s of the 20th century were lead by the archaeologist Janis Apals. During the excavations around 150 various wooden buildings were discovered and studied, approximately 3500 artefacts and more than 100 intact and broken clay dishes were found. The Medieval Araisi Castle ruins (14th – 17th century), reconstructed stone and bronze age settlements are located nearby. 

Araisi lake fortified settlement

The well-preserved state allowed to determine the planning of separate buildings and the whole settlement, as well as used construction solutions, which allowed to gain understanding of the lifestyle of ancient dwellers. The fortified settlement of Araisi was reconstructed with high historic credibility and it is a very distinct object of historic and cultural value in the whole region of Northern Europe.

The fortified lake settlement was a constant settlement, which was constructed on a small, submersible isle. Settlement was protected by defensive buildings on the outside and passage to land was ensured by a rocky shoal. Approximately 70 to 90 people lived in the Araisi settlement. Main activities of the inhabitants of the settlement were agriculture, cattle breeding, forest apiculture, craftsmanship and trade. Fishing and hunting were essential as well. They had a varied diet – cereal crops, turnips, meat, milk, wild game and fish. They combed their hair with bone and bristle combs, and they used wooden mallets for washing clothes.

The fortified settlement was attacked, burned to the ground and abandoned. The remains of the settlement were covered in water due to sinking of the foundation and increase of water level in the lake.

Works of great archaeologist Janis Apals were used in the text.

Working hours

Working hours in summer season (from 1st of April to 31st of October):

Monday to Sunday from 09:00 to 19:00

Working hours in winter season (from 1st of November to 31st of March):

Wednesday – Sunday from 09:00 to 16:00


Cost of entry

Adults – 2.00 €
Students, pensioners, pupils – 1.00 €
Family ticket (1-2 adults with 1-2 children (7-18 years of age)) – 4.00 €
Children until 7 years of age – free.

Guide services (1 hour excursion)

for foreign language groups – 16.00 €

It is possible to pay with cash or various payment cards!


Araisi church

Araisi church was built approximately in year 1225. Church interior is mainly decorated with carpentry works (pews, pulpit) from 17th century.

Araisi windmill

Araisi windmill is a Holland-type windmill built in the 19th century. The windmill was renovated in 1980-s. The visitors can observe the renovated windmill facility and follow the process of grain transformation into flour. Access to the windmill is granted by a kind permit of owners living nearby.

GPS coordinate

Decimal Degrees (WGS84)  GPS
Latitude Longitude Latitude  Longitude
57.24983 25.28032 N 57 14.990 E 25 16.819