Leaning tower of Kuldīga visited by tens of thousands

Around 60,000 people have travelled to visit the Kuldīga Leaning Lookout Tower. Even in cold weather and on weekdays, the interest continues, as Latvian Radio found out.

The leaning tower, which many compare to the Tower of Pisa in Italy, is visited mainly by people from the Kurzeme region, but there are also visitors from abroad.

Latvian Radio talked to visitors who had specially come to see the new tourist attraction in Kuldīga.

"We came from Pāvilosta. It's very quiet and very interesting. Overshadows the Tower of Pisa."

"I'm from Skrunda. I climbed up for the first time. It wasn't scary, but if it was, who would admit it... (laughs) The steps are quite high, it's easier to climb down."

"We came from Liepāja on business, but we also came to the tower. I couldn't get to the top, only to the third floor, without my son-in-law and granddaughter getting to the top."

"I like lookout towers like that, I wish it was even higher. It's beautiful, I'm glad something like this has been built."

From March 3 to 13, the tower had 25,000 visitors. If the counter had been running when the tower opened, the figures would have been even higher from the beginning of February. Jana Bergmane, head of the Kuldīga Tourism Development Centre, estimates that 60,000 people may have visited the observation tower by now. "This is one of the largest public infrastructure facilities in the region that is open, so people are taking advantage of it. It is open at all times of the day and night, there is no seasonality, and there is a lot of traffic."

Jana Bergmane points out that the opening in February and March, which are off-season months for tourism, created additional opportunities for tourism service providers.

The huge interest in the tower's opening has led the municipality to think about how to tackle the parking issue. Andris Megnis, head of the environmental management department at the building authority, explains that a simple solution has cost around €9,000: "This facility has generated quite a lot of tourism. The municipality had to urgently find solutions for parking. As such, the project for the observation tower already included 27 car parking spaces and three bus parking spaces. To look for additional options, we have created a gravel shoulder right next to the watchtower where 32 cars can be parked. There are also additional pockets for street vending."

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