What To See?
There is a wide range of industrial heritage sites in Saldus municipality – you will definately find something interesting and worth visiting!
Claas Combine Harvester
The Claas Matador Gigant combine harvester is the latest addition to the “Machinery Road”. It is located by the road P108 between the villages Druva and Namiķi.
Built at the factory of the brothers Claas in Harsewinkel, Germany in 1968. Engine output: 92 hp, 6 cilinder diesel engine; working width: 3m (these models had a working witdth of 3-6m). Grain tank: 2155 l.
With the Matador Standart and Matador Gigant models the CLAAS company continued the era of combine harvesters. Rationalization of the agriculture industry created a demand for new, more powerful combine harvester models. At that time, the Matador with its 6m operation width was gigantic.
This machine is exhibited as part of the Machinery Road thanks to Jānis Bariss and the support of SIA “Saldus Meliorācija”.
Collection of Historic Vehicles
A remarkable collection of historic vehicles can be viewed in Zvārde parish. The collection has been created by enthusiast Jānis Dobelis and includes cars, trucks and also motorcycles.
Steam locomotives were designed to operate threshing machines. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, steam-powered locomotives replaced the horse-powered threshing machines, they were fired with firewood and powered by water vapor. During the threshing, the locomotives were transported from farmyard to farmyard together with the threshing machines, inviting the neighbors to help. With common banquet tables and songs, they became important events in public life.
The specific locomotive was manufactured at the beginning of the 20th century in the factory ‘Ruston, Proctor & CO” in Lincoln, England. The locomotive was delivered to Druva collective farm in 1980. It was brought from the village of Varieba in Vāne Parish, Tukums District and installed by the mechanical workshops. Even then, this locomotive was defined as a tourist attraction and used to promote work traditions.
At the beginning of the harvesting season, the locomotive was started and the harvesters of the collective farm “Druva” went to the fields. On 10 September 2016, the flag of the European Culture Heritage Days was raised next to this locomotive.
Tractor with Ditch Digging Equipment
The track tractor Stalinec 80 (Сталинец-80) T 100 with ditch digging equipment was made after World War II. Initially, it was produced on the basis of tanks, intended for various earth and agricultural works. This tractor is equipped with a ditch excavator.
Track Tractor & Peat Harvester
Track tractor DT 75B, intended for various soil work and agricultural activities, was one of the most popular tractors in the Soviet time and was produced from the 1960s till 2015. This specific tractor was made in 1989 to work in bogs. It has a wider chassis and wider tracks, which is indicated in the model by the letter B from the Russian word “болотный”, which means “for bogs”.
Peat harvesters like this MTF-43 were produced in the Soviet time in the 70s and 80s. Nowadays, there are more modern and effective peat harvesters, but in the post-Soviet countries these machines are still used.
The dragline excavator EO-3211E-1 was made in 1990 at the excavator plant PO “Taseks” in Tashkent, and it was intended for use in digging trenches, canals, and ponds. The model EO-3211D was produced from the mid-80s, when it replaced the E-304, produced since the 60s.
SIA “Saldus Meliorācija” has provided this machine for public display.
Portable Threshing Machine
This specific threshing machine was manufactured at the beginning of the 20th century by “Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies Limited” in England.
The machine could be transported using six to eight horses. It was powered by a steam engine or a kerosene engine.
This type of threshing machine was used in Latvia at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was imported from abroad. Later, the threshing machines “Imanta”, manufactured in Latvia until 1958, became increasingly popular. After that, combine harvesters were used for grain threshing.
This threshing machine was a special order and is a rarity, as “Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies” manufactured mostly steam locomobiles. This threshing machine was used for grass seed threshing on the collective farm “Komunārs”. There is no information about how the collective farm acquired this thresher, but after the restoration of Latvia’s independance, it became a private property and now is available for public viewing.
“Airīte” Railway Station
The station building is a state protected cultural heritage monument. It was built in 1935 as one of the stations of the Glūda-Liepāja railway. It served as a large transit centre, but over time, its significance diminished, and since 2001 the railway communication has been terminated. Nowadays, the station is open to visitors. There is a comprehensive exposition dedicated to railway history in Kurzeme. The owner Pēteris Stumburs will share captivating stories about the history of the station and the exposition. Accommodation is available.
Sluice of Ezere Water Mill
The mill pond created on the Ezere river at the end of the 19th century is the largest body of water in the parish (13.1 hectares). The water mill located nearby was built in 1910. The sluice of the mill pond was put into operation in 1982. The sluice in a shape of a maple-leaf is very rare in Latvia.
Pakuļi Hydroelectric Power Station and Water Reservoir
It is the largest hydroelectric power station in Kurzeme, built in 1952 and renovated in 1996. The power station is located on the picturesque Ciecere river. This is a popular place for recreation and licenced fishing.
Building of the Society of the Volunteer Firefighters in Saldus
One of the oldest societies in Saldus – the volunteer firefighters – was founded in 1872. The society house was built in 1911. The building had storage facilities for fire extinguishing equipment and also a hall with a stage. The reason for founding the brigade was most likely a fire in 1869 that destroyed the most splendid house of the town.
Jānis Vicinskis’ Agricultural Machinery Plant
Initially, a machinery repair shop was located here. A new building was later built for manufacturing of agricultural machines and implements. There was a foundry, a saw mill, and a steam mill. The factory operated from 1895 till 1940, and it was the largest factory of its kind in Kurzeme at the time. It was rebuilt after World War II.