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Zartapi Waterfall (Zārtapu ūdenskritums)
If you love the beauty of smaller things, you would adore Zartapi Waterfall. It is not large, just some 2 m high, and during the summer it is mostly dry. But – what colors! What a setting in the pristine forest!
Name in Latvian
Map of the site
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Zartapi Waterfall is both new and very old. Waterfall itself formed on the artificially straightened Zartapi Brook during the 20th century. But it falls over the oldest rocks that are exposed in Latvia: the Middle Devonian malm rock of the Narva Formation. These rocks started to form some 385 million years ago.
Waterfall is located in a fairly remote place, in the extensive forests of Slītere National Park. The rock is fairly soft and even the small stream has managed to chew through it, creating some 15 m long canyon with another, smaller step some meters below the main waterfall.
Especially amazing are the colors of exposed rocks. Layers of malm, dolostone, and clay have a rusty-burgundy color with occasional light-grey layers. A thin film of dark, nearly black iron minerals add even more color.
Please, refrain from visits to this waterfall! Unfortunately, each visit takes away a bit of its natural charm due to trodding and stomping.
Wonders of Latvia
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Some of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.
Wonders of Europe
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Latvia (Countries Around the World)
Latvia offers complete coverage of this fascinating country, including sections on history, geography, wildlife, infrastructure and government, and culture. It also includes a detailed fact file, maps and charts, and a traceable flag.
Latvia (Bradt Travel Guide)
Touring the peaceful countryside and historic towns of Latvia is made simple with this guide. Travelers will benefit from advice on how to reach long, sandy beaches and quaint provincial villages, as well as a mass of practical information. Fascinating insights into Latvian folklore, customs, language, and cuisine are provided to intrigue the curious browser and provide food for thought for travelers during their journey.