Gulbene (pronunciation ; German: Schwanenburg) is a town in northeastern Latvia. It is an administrative center of Gulbene Municipality.[3][4]

Gulbene 035, opravená část zámeského komplexu.jpg
Flag of Gulbene
Coat of arms of Gulbene
Gulbene is located in Latvia
Location in Latvia
Coordinates: 57°10′N 26°45′E / 57.167°N 26.750°E / 57.167; 26.750Coordinates: 57°10′N 26°45′E / 57.167°N 26.750°E / 57.167; 26.750
Country Latvia
DistrictGulbene Municipality
Town rights1928
 • Chairman of the Municipality CouncilAndis Caunītis
 • Total11.91 km2 (4.60 sq mi)
 • Land11.53 km2 (4.45 sq mi)
 • Water0.38 km2 (0.15 sq mi)
 • Total6,867
 • Density580/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Calling code+371 644
Number of city council members11

The area of this region is 11.898 km2 (4.594 sq mi), with a population of 29,797 inhabitants (69,369 sealen[clarification needed], 10,015 urban, 19,782 rural population).


Unveiling ceremony of the monument to the fallen heroes during the Latvian War of Independence
Latvian Army parade in front of President Kārlis Ulmanis in Gulbene

Historical documents first mention the 1224 land division act between the Order of the Sword Brothers and the Archbishop of Riga.[5] In the 14th century, the Archbishop built a stone castle around which a populated place was formed.

The Evangelical Lutheran church (Brivības iela 13) was built on the ancient Latgalian castle mound in place of the later Middle Age brick castle from 1838–1843. The church is built in the classical style.

Vecgulbene (Old Gulbene) estate complex was built in the middle and second half of the 19th century not far off the church. The most significant buildings are the White Palace (Brivības iela 12), the Red Palace (Parka iela 1) and the magazine granary (Brivības iela 9). Both palaces have been destroyed and rebuilt several times. Since 1924 the elementary school of the city occupies the Red Palace.

After the construction of the Stukmani to Valka narrow-gauge railway in 1903 and subsequent broad-gauge line construction during World War I, Vecgulbene was established as an important railway junction, and in 1920 it was given the rights of a small village. During the first period of Latvian independence, besides those employed by the railways, small business, trades and crafts were the most important economic activities in the town. Gulbene was heavily damaged during the last years of World War II. After the war, during the Soviet occupation, Gulbene initially became a district, and later, in 1950, a regional centre. In the 1960s and 1970s branches of several major industrial companies were established in the city. Local enterprise was mainly involved with wood processing.

The most architecturally significant building in the area is the passenger building at Gulbene railway station, built in 1926 by the well-known professor of architecture Peteris Feders (1868 – 1936). It is one of the largest and most magnificent railway station buildings in Latvia.


There is one major town in the Gulbene municipality, and the region is separated into 13 smaller rural parishes. Gulbene is being developed as an environmentally-friendly territory.[citation needed]


The Gulbenes Regional History and Art Museum displays one of the most valuable relics of Latvian museums - a chair designed by Julius Madernieks (1870–1955) made in the 1920s. Julius Madernieks was the founder of Latvian professional applied art born in Vecgulbenes parish and being notable person in city Gulbene.


The Gulbene municipality's biggest rivers (Gauja, Tirza and Pededze) are currently popular locations for nature tourism and water-sports, but once these were famous places for harvesting river-pearls. Cycling is enjoyed on local country paths.

Gulbene has a basketball team, Gulbenes Buki, playing in the higher division of the Latvian basketball league.


The Gulbene region is served by a newspaper, Dzirkstele.[6][7]


Twin townsEdit

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Reģionu, novadu, pilsētu un pagastu kopējā un sauszemes platība gada sākumā". Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Pilsētu (blīvi apdzīvotu) un lauku (reti apdzīvotu) teritoriju iedzīvotāju skaits reģionos, pilsētās, novados un pagastos (pēc administratīvi teritoriālās reformas 2021. gadā) – Teritoriālā vienība, Laika periods un Rādītāji". Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  3. ^ "Gulbenes novads - Gulbene Municipality". Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  4. ^ "Discover Gulbene! | Your tourist guide to Gulbene District!". Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  5. ^ "Gulbene". Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  6. ^ "Gulbenes novads". (in Latvian). Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  7. ^ "Laikraksts Dzirkstele". (in Latvian). Retrieved 19 June 2022.