At Āraiši Archaeological Park (Āraišu arheoloģiskais parks) you can discover and explore dwellings from Stone Age to Midle Age. There are Stone Age and Bronze Age building reconstructions, that are reconstructed according to recerch data in Latvia so far. The main object in Āraiši Archaeological Park is the reconstruction of the Viking Age ancient Latgallian fortress in the original place – on a small lake island. This fortress represents unique tipe of settlements in Latvia, that is discovered only in 10 lakes in Eastern part of Latvia. At the park complex you will find an original medieval 14th century castle ruins as well.
Since 2017 Āraiši Archaeological Park is structure of Amata Municipality, and continiues to do the best practice of the founder Janis Apals.
The main object – Āraiši Lake Fortress was discovered by archaeologist, Dr.hist.Jānis Apals. Fortress was found acording to folklore. In two periods of excavation (1965-1969;1975-1975) unique settlement of ancient Latgallians have been found, that is dated to 9th and 10th century. The tipe of settlement is unusual and so is the material of excavation. It provided quite a full picture of Latgallian material culture during the Viking Age, and partially also of their mental culture, and so the idea was born of recreating the lake fortress as an open-air archaeological museum. Chosen for reconstruction was the earliest building phase, from the 9th century, since this was the best preserved. Used in the building work are replicas of the tools discovered in the excavation. Thus, the reconstructed Āraiši lake fortress exhibits a high degree of historical accuracy. Reconstruction work is still underway, and can be viewed by the visitors.
In every day life guides in the Park are wearing reconstructed costumes and are showing replicas of objects and tools that were found in excavation. Education programmes for differend age groups are created. During annual events Park gathers togetger living history groups, folklore groups and scientists (historians, archaeologists, biologists) to educate the visitors and explore prehistory. Park is seeking to be a center of experimental archaeology in Latvia and organise regular scientific, reenactment, education and folklore events and conferences about nature and prehistory.