Day 3, 16 September 2020
Today we took the bus and traveled to Aglona, a small village.
Here we stay for two nights in the Basilica of the Assumption— the most important Catholic church in the country. The place is magical and has peace and serenity. We had the whole place to ourselves and I felt like the King of my Castle.
We walked around the village and in the evening we attended a church service in the Basilica.
It is the same church where 2 Popes visited and also stayed.
It is the most important Catholic church in the country. The church and monastery were founded by the Dominican fathers in 1700. The original wooden church and monastery were razed in the 1760s and construction for a new church was begun in 1768 and completed by 1800 when it was consecrated. It attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims every year on the day of the Assumption of Mary (15 August) as well as on Pentecost.
The historic icon of the Aglona Mother of God is considered miraculous and has long been an object of veneration. Its dates to the 17th century and its authorship is unknown.
In 1980 the Church celebrated its 200th anniversary and was officially given the status of a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II. In 1986 it was the site of celebration of the 800th anniversary of Christianity in Latvia. A major renovation of the basilica and expansion of the church grounds was begun in 1992 in preparation for the pope's visit. The shrine was visited by Pope John Paul II in September 1993 and over 300,000 pilgrims assembled at that time. Pope Francis visited in September 2018.
Located on the narrow strip of land between the lakes Cirišs and Egles, the present-day village is the result of merger of three settlements: Aglona, Somerseta and Jaunciems. The scenic beauty of the surrounding area attracts many visitors every summer.
Day 4, 17 September 2020
The King's Hill of Christ
I only got out of bed by 12h00 AM. It was raining almost the entire day.
In the afternoon we decided to visit Kristus Karala Kalns - Christ the King hill with its wooden sculptures. It is interesting to walk around this park.
You can easily spend few hours there. You can combine the visit with Aglonas Bazilika which is few minutes drive away. The rain caught us but it was worth the visit.
It is a nice place to visit for a few hours regardless of faith.
Kings Mount is situated 2 km from Aglona we stayed (not far from Aglona basilica), by the lake Egle.
Historically this hill has already been called the “King’s Mount”.
The park was created by enthusiasts for own funding, maintained by volunteers.
Different size sculptures represent Biblical characters.
There are gardens, artificial ponds, small summer houses, 2 bridges, 650 plants and 120 fruit trees. Overall about 20ha area. Also a parking, information hut, toilets.
Entrance fee is free of choice - for free or for donations.
Amazing work has been done! Beautiful place filled with love and soul!